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GOV.UK Verify

Improving our reporting

Posted by: and , Posted on: - Categories: How GOV.UK Verify works, Technical

As part of going live, we’re making some changes to the way we report GOV.UK Verify’s progress. This work is the same as the rest of the programme in that we’re constantly reviewing it to assess how we do things, and what we could improve.

As always, the priority is user needs. The service dashboard for GOV.UK Verify needs to be understood by people who are interested in our progress, whether that’s a service user, a government department, a certified company, or anyone else.

The team responsible for the Performance Platform are taking it in a new direction (which is a separate piece of work), and for a while we’ve known that some of our language on our dashboard could be clearer for everyone.

Here are the things we’re changing on the dashboard, and in our reporting for now.

Account Use

We’ve stopped using the word ‘authentication’, as it’s technical language that’s unclear for people outside the team working on GOV.UK Verify. Instead we’re calling this ‘account use’. The first graph on the page shows how many times, over time, people have used GOV.UK Verify to access government services online.

Verification Rate

We’ve stopped using the term ‘success rate’, and started using ‘verification rate’ instead. This is the same measure - describing the proportion of visits that result in the creation and verification of an account with a certified company, following a completed attempt - but we think it’s clearer to call this verification. Verification of identity is the main business of GOV.UK Verify, and this is an important measure for us. But it can’t be taken in isolation. The phrase ‘success rate’ is not clear enough - it makes it sound like the only measure that matters when actually it’s part of a bigger picture.

Completion Rate

Again this is the same measure, but we’ve stopped using the word ‘authentication’ as part of it, for the same reasons (it’s not a clear word). And we’ve explained it more clearly on the page: this is the proportion of visits that result in the creation or reuse of a verified identity account with a certified company.

Certified Company Completion Rate; Certified Company Choice; User Satisfaction

These measures have also stayed the same, but we’ve reworded the accompanying descriptions to explain them better.

Things we’ve removed

We’ve taken 3 measures off the service dashboard: ‘Authentication success rate’; ‘Account creation’; and  ‘User sign in’.

None of these measures tell us or the user much about how well GOV.UK Verify is performing; they’re all consistently high-performing measures that relate to small, very specific parts of the large and complex process. On top of this we always try to be as concise and informative as possible - we realise the service dashboard shouldn’t be overloaded with information, which in itself can contribute to a lack of clarity.

Other things we’re working on

This is a first step to improve this page and how we measure things. We’re working on a number of other improvements, including:

  • a simple image that shows which part of the GOV.UK Verify process each measure relates to
  • measuring people, not visits - currently we can technically only measure visits, so every visit is counted as a new one, even though many people use GOV.UK Verify over more than one visit

We’re interested to know what you think of these updates to the GOV.UK Verify service dashboard. Let us know in the comments below.

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