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GOV.UK Verify

User research - asking better questions

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Research

With more people and services using GOV.UK Verify, we’re able to learn from their feedback and find more opportunities to refine and improve the service.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about refinements we were making to ensure people were better prepared to answer the questions used to verify their identity.

We added a page to the process to make sure that people would have access to the sorts of information they might need:

First version of the page on GOV.UK Verify to let people know what they’ll need to prove their identity
First version of the page on GOV.UK Verify to let people know what they’ll need to prove their identity

Though this page did what was needed, we also knew that we could make this better.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been looking at new possible versions of the page and testing these with members of the public in our usability lab.

We’ve recently updated this page with a much simpler version:

Current version of the page on GOV.UK Verify to let people know what they’ll need to prove their identity
Current version of the page on GOV.UK Verify to let people know what they’ll need to prove their identity

We’ve found this works much better as:

  • talking about statements, not financial records avoids misconceptions about how identity verification works
  • simplifying the page means that those people who want to know more about why this information is needed are more likely to use the link provided to learn more
  • most people keep the types of information they need in one place. If they have access to their statements, they’ll be able to answer identity questions

This is one of many areas where we’re looking to make incremental improvements to the service. In the coming weeks and months we’ll be writing more here about the changes we’re making and how they affect the people using the service.

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  1. Comment by Peter posted on

    Coming through the Rural Payments service, the page after this new simpler page says:

    "Verify your identity
    Select all the documents you have
    You’ll need to refer to any documents you select

    Valid UK passport
    Valid UK photocard driving licence

    Your documents will be checked to confirm they are valid. They will be checked again in the future to make sure they are still valid.


    I don’t have either of these documents"

    Can you work some design magic on this too, as it spoils the flow from the new page? I couldn't paste an image of the screen so just grabbed the text. Thanks

    • Replies to Peter>

      Comment by Janet Hughes posted on

      Hello Peter - thanks for your comment. Would you be able to let us know what in particular about that page spoils the flow from the new page? If you can give us a bit more detailed feedback we'll be very happy to take a look at it.

  2. Comment by Philip Virgo posted on

    This may be a show stopper. Has anyone actually done research into what proportion of the Uk poplution are not prepared to provide access to information on their financial records to anyone without a very good reason. This includes those who have never had reason to borrow, and therefore have no credit history as well as those who still prefer to deal in cash, now rising again with negligible interst rates on depositis allied to fears of on-line fraud

    • Replies to Philip Virgo>

      Comment by Janet Hughes posted on

      Hello Philip, thanks for commenting.

      This post is about how GOV.UK Verify works right now and how we make it clear to people what they'll need in order to verify their identity using GOV.UK Verify. We've posted separately about how we're working to expand the range of ways people can verify their identity - see this post in particular:

      To verify someone's identity, a certified company has to be able to verify a range of evidence across three categories - money, citizen and living (see this post which explains this in more detail: Certified companies can use a range of combinations of evidence from two or three of these categories, depending on the value of the evidence and the extent to which they can verify it is valid and / or genuine.

      So, under the standards (the relevant one being Good Practice Guide 45 - Identity Proofing and Verification), it is theoretically possible (though not possible through the service as it stands right now) for someone to verify their identity without using financial records, by using evidence from the citizen and living categories. We expect this to become possible within the next couple of months, and we'll report progress here.

      In the meantime, anyone who doesn't have (or want to use) the information required to verify their identity at this stage will still be able to choose another way to access the service they want to use.