Consultation sites are an important way of giving the public a voice in the issues that concern them the most. They are also a vital means of demonstrating transparency when it is needed the most – and the MPs’ expenses consultation was no exception. The consultation website would provide a central online point for basic consultation information and to allow users to submit responses and share opinions.
We built a the consultation site in WordPress, with a simple design that would not detract from the site information and functionality, and which would reflect the tone and approach of the consultation itself. We created an option for users (which included members of the public, as well as MPs and their teams) to lodge their views through an online questionnaire, which blended yes/no, multiple choice and free text questions. To make sure that this delivered the types of practical data required for the consultation recommendations, we worked with IPSA to design the questionnaire strategy. Later, we collated and analysed the responses for IPSA, providing them with an important dataset.
dxw also provided support post-launch, ensuring that the site’s responsiveness under load, given the huge amount of public and press interest in the consultation.
Our ability to get things done quickly is known by our clients, and we are also able to use our experience in creating consultation sites. This project came with additional time pressure; the consultation had a very set timeframe and its outputs (including data captured through the site) would be fed into the design of the new MPs’ expenses policy and system.
The site was delivered within timeframe and was used to submit 2,259 responses, mostly from members of the public, during the consultation period. The number of responses logged indicates that the user experience design and questionnaire strategy were successful.
Our analysis of online responses and subsequent report was published by IPSA, alongside the consultation summary.