User Researcher

Home Office

Closing date: 20 Sep 2019

Reference number



£39,530 - £45,459


Senior Executive Officer

Contract type


Business area

Home Office - Digital Data & Technology - Data Services & Analytics

Type of role

Information Technology
Project Delivery

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Job share, Part-time



Number of posts



Croydon, London

About the job

Job description

The first duty of the government is to keep citizens safe and the country secure. The Home Office has been at the front line of this effort since 1782. As such, we play a fundamental role in maintaining the security and economic prosperity of the UK.
The Home Office leads on immigration and passports, refugee protection, counter-terrorism, policing, fire services, and crime and drugs policy.

Digital Data and Technology (DDaT) enables the Home Office to keep the UK safe and secure. We design and build the services that help people apply for visas or passports; support policing and counter-terrorism operations; and protect the UK’s borders.

This is an exciting time to be at the Home Office. You’ll have a chance to shape the future and support our mission to deliver exceptional public services that work for everyone.

Our work is guided by these principles:

• we put user needs first
• we value delivery and outcomes over process
• we work in the open

Our flexible working policy ensures a healthy work-life balance. We also nurture talent and offer a broad range of learning and development opportunities that will help you flourish in your role.

We work hard to maintain a positive working culture and are committed to helping you fulfil your potential. We value diversity and provide an open, inclusive and supportive environment to help you do your best work.

You can keep up-to-date with our work on the Home Office DDaT blog.

The role

We’re looking for user researchers who are passionate about what they can bring to delivering better services at the Home Office.

You will work within a fast-paced delivery team - either across several smaller services, or dedicated to one larger programme of work. You will form a close partnership with interaction and content designers for a given digital service.

You will develop research strategy and test design tailored to a given service and be comfortable with usability testing and lean techniques such as pop up testing, paper prototyping and rapid analysis that involves the wider team whenever possible.

You won’t spend time writing lengthy reports but instead, will look for engaging ways to communicate findings to delivery teams and stakeholders across a department unfamiliar with user centred design.


Day to day, you will:
• support digital delivery teams to build accessible digital services
• include participants with access needs in all research and usability testing
• consider and research the full range of users who rely on government services – those who struggle to get online, or who don’t know how
• plan, design and conduct in-house usability testing to support the design and development of government services
• lead on test and research moderation, analysis and generation of outputs
• embed user insight within delivery teams and communicate findings in engaging and compelling ways

Skills and experience

Essential skills
You’ll have a demonstrable passion for user-centred design, with extensive experience of:

● challenging assumptions and put users first in a government context
● managing, executing and analysing usability testing to deliver user insights for service teams
● researching diverse audiences to create accessible digital services
● convincing stakeholders to take a user-centred approach, based on evidence

Desirable skills
Ideally, you will also:

● have the ability to engage the whole multi-disciplinary team with a good research process,
● have a degree in HCI/Usability/Cognitive Psychology/Anthropology/Human Sciences or related field, and/or relevant industry experience



Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check.

Selection process details

As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV and personal statement. Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

Please note that your personal statement should be aligned to demonstrate your suitability for the role.

An initial sift of your CV will be conducted against the Essential criteria outlined in the job description.

We’ll use your application form, CV and interview to assess your experience. Candidates will be shortlisted based on whether this meets the essential criteria outlined above.


We’ll assess your technical skills during the interview. We may also ask you to complete a practical exercise.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.


Candidates in their probationary period are not eligible to apply for vacancies within this department.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity. There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Contact point for applicants

Ed Taylor

Sift/interview dates and location

We will sift (review) applications during the week beginning: 23rd September 2019.

If your application is successful at this stage, we will invite you to an interview during the week beginning: 7th October 2019.

Location to be confirmed.

Further information

We often have similar roles available at different grades. If a candidate is suitable for a similar role or a lower grade than they have applied for, we may offer the candidate that role without the need for them to go through a further selection process providing the role has the same competencies and essential skills.

For further information please see the attached notes for candidates which must be read before making an application.

Existing Civil Servants should note that some of the Home Office terms and conditions of employment have changed. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure they are aware of the Terms and Conditions they will adopt should they be successful in application and should refer to the notes for candidates for further details.

‘We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity and inclusion at the Home Office. We are committed to creating a welcoming, inclusive workplace where all our people are able to bring their whole selves to work and perform at their best’

Transfer Terms: Voluntary

If you are invited to interview you will be required to bring a range of documentation for the purposes of establishing identity and to aid any pre-employment checks.

Please see the attached list of Home Office acceptable ID documents.

Any move to the Home Office (HO) will mean you will no longer be able to carry on claiming childcare vouchers.

Reasonable adjustment
If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.
If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:

Contact Government Recruitment Service via as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs.

Complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional.

Please read the essential skills for this position carefully. We will only consider those who meet the listed requirements.

If you have previously made an unsuccessful application for a role with the same essential skills and are not able to demonstrate how you have developed these skills since your last application please reconsider applying as your application is unlikely to be successful.

Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant’s details held on the IFD will be refused employment.

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