As I mentioned in my previous blog post, the Digital Services Store it is starting to get some of our focused attention.
For those of you unfamiliar with the store and the Digital Services framework, the most notable difference for users is that the store sits behind an authenticated login; currently, only buyers are allowed access to the site. As work progresses to bring the Digital Services Store content into the Digital Marketplace, we will need to address this fundamental difference. The authenticated login goes against the 10th GDS design principle of Make things open: it makes things better. This closed approach also creates a barrier for those buyers looking to discover who the suppliers are and what services they provide.
We do know that a small number of suppliers who supply to the framework are sensitive about pricing information being made publicly available.
Keeping an eye on performance
As well as doing user research and monitoring our support enquiries, we have also created a performance dashboard for the Digital Services Store. The dashboard is currently very simple and only uses site analytics for reporting but it is the beginning of public reporting on the site performance.
First things first
One of the first stats that we reported on was that out of 2.2k unique visitors in the period from Oct 26 - Nov 24, only 200 were able to reach the service. We have now changed the way the authenticated login works to make it more usable. The results look good. Since the login change we've gone from an average of 87 visitors per day to 357. More importantly, only 16.1% of those visitors used to get into the store - now a notable increase of 85.4% of our visitors login and browse.
What this means
Well, without customers in the store, sales are going to be harder. With greater traffic we can start learning much more about what is stopping people from engaging and we will hopefully see an increase in sales.
We know that access to the store is only part of the reason that procurement can take a long time on the Digital Services framework. Not all problems are as easily fixed. Currently, we have much more control over the tools that access the frameworks than we do over the frameworks themselves. We want to change this by making sure that all the GDS design principles apply to new and iterated framework.
What to do next
I shall be writing up the findings from our Digital Services Managed Service discovery in a separate blog post to follow early next week. In the meantime, if you work for the public sector please log in and take a look round the store. If you are a supplier, please help us by reminding the buyers you know that they should now find it much easier to log into the store and start their procurements now. The more usage data we have, the more easily we can keep our prioritisation relevant and useful to keep making incremental improvements that meet user needs