How improved UX lowered costs and increased customer satisfaction

HM Courts & Tribunals Service

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The Client


The Ministry of Justice supports millions of people across the UK every year, servicing 500 courts and tribunals. One key department, HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS), had embarked on an internally-led Digital Transformation programme to:

  • Reduce costs by improving operational efficiency;
  • Improve the experience and delivery of services to the public.

Like all transformation initiatives, the complexity ahead was daunting: HMCTS needed to introduce new technologies, embed new ways of working, and upskill their teams - and they needed to do it as quickly as possible.

AND Digital's focus on accelerating Public Sector digital capabilities by building products and upskilling teams simultaneously was an ideal match for the challenge ahead.

The challenge

Understanding the user experience

As a public service, all improvements and changes needed to be user-centric

AND brought together a pilot group of 100 representative users, and through a series of lab and ‘guerilla’ UX sessions, successfully created a range of UX artefacts, including:

  • User journeys
  • Personas
  • Coded prototypes
  • Service maps


Defining a new tech stack and environment

As this was a greenfield environment, a key requirement was to define the tech stack. Working with the architecture and operations teams, we assessed a range of well-supported technologies and tools, including:

  • JavaScript (with Node.js)

  • Java 8 (using Spring Boot)

  • Jenkins

  • Docker

  • Ansible

From day one, the project included the need to redesign structures and working practices for delivery teams at HMCTS. We worked with the commercial team to define optimum team sizes, role and team profiles, as well as supporting recruitment for priority roles.

Meanwhile, our coaches provided training in Agile, user-centric design principles, and the application of Government Digital Service Standards to prepare the teams for the revised approach to delivery.

Key outcomes

As a result of the work we delivered with the HMCTS, we saw some great improvements on key metrics:

  • Satisfaction rate 93% User satisfaction The highest of any HMCTS digital service launched that year
  • Reach 150,000 Users in its first 12 months of launch
  • Production 1 week after launch, grants could be issued directly through the platform
  • Agile capabilities 3 New high-performing Agile teams
  • Accessibility WCAG 2.0 principles were met, significantly improving the accessibility of the service
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