Basic Introduction to User Research in Government: London (2 Days)

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Government Digital Service

The White Chapel Building

10 Whitechapel High Street


E1 8QS

United Kingdom

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Event description


Basic Introduction to to User Research in Government

The Government Digital Service (GDS) user-centred design team regularly run User Research training. This hands-on, practical introductory level course is for civil servants who are new to the role of 'User Researcher' and have started within government during the last 6 months. This training is also suitable for civil servants who are transitioning into the professional practice of user research.

We will assume you have a basic understanding of digital, agile and user-centred design but please be advised that this course is not suitable for experienced practitioners, ie; those who are confident with essential research practice and have a user research background.

Civil servants who are completely new to user-centred design should attend Introduction to user-centred design in government which is aimed at those who want an overview of user-centred design provided by the GDS Academy.

Who should take part

You should take part if:

  • You have just started working in a research role in government during the last 6 months.

  • You plan to start your role as a User Researcher soon.

  • You may already be working in government but you are tranisitioning into a new role as a User Researcher.

  • You may be taking on User Research responsibilities and building capability within your team.

What you'll learn

During the training, you’ll be introduced to a range of topics and activities that cover;

  • The context of research in government.

  • The research process [planning, conducting, analysing and communicating].

  • Listening skills and asking good questions.

  • Doing research interviews and usability tests.

  • Analysing research.

  • User needs and research findings.

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Know how user research helps you design and shape better services.

  • Understand how user research fits into the government context.

  • Use basic user research techniques and essential practitioner skills.

  • Know how and when to involve your team in research activities.

  • Know where to get user research help, guidance and community support.

Applying for this course

To ensure this course is relevant for you, please ensure you fill out all questions (during the checkout process) when you register for a ticket.


  • You must currently have a job as a public servant or civil servant. This means you are working in a central government department. You must be a permanent employee not a contractor or supplier to government, so we expect you to sign up using your government email address.

On the day

Arrive before 9:45am ready for a 10am start and we hope to finish at 4:45pm. Lunch will be at approximately 1pm for approximately 45 mins and there will be a short break in the morning and afternoon. The training will be held at GDS in the 7th floor Garage, next to the kitchen.

Tea, coffee and biscuits are available for a £1 donation, per day. Please bring a mug, lunch or lunch money and a scarf because the air-conditioning is tricky.

Please commit to the whole of both days. If you are unable to attend for the whole of both days, please let us know. We prefer not to have people leave early, start late or drop in and out of the day as it is unfair to the other group members and people on the waiting list.

If there is anything we can do to enable you to be able to fully participate in this course, contact the GDS UCD team.

Please be prepared to give us feedback on the session as it is always being iterated!

More information

Find out about other user-centred design related training and events on the Design Notes blog.

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Date and Time


Government Digital Service

The White Chapel Building

10 Whitechapel High Street


E1 8QS

United Kingdom

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