Form Builder is a platform built by MoJ Digital and Technology for creating and publishing accessible online forms using components from the GOV.UK Design System. As the platform is easy to use, our team was able to create, test and publish an online complaints form to a tight deadline.
Building a complaints form
In July 2019, our team started work with HMCTS to create and publish an online form called Complain about a court or tribunal. As well as making it easier for court users to submit feedback, HMCTS also needed a form that:
- could integrate simply with their case management system
- meets accessibility standards
- Welsh-language speakers can complete.
Our delivery manager was on hand to orchestrate the build, update stakeholders, and keep all the technical plates spinning while we created the form. With a deadline of the end of September, pulling together a full service team to create and publish the form would have been time consuming and expensive.
Proof of concept
As we were short on time, we used Form Builder to quickly create a GOV.UK look and feel version of the complaints form. Demonstrating a testable online form quickly allowed us to build stakeholder confidence.
Although I was able to work independently using the platform, it was vital for me to involve others from the UX community for design input.
- Mapping the form flow
I worked with an interaction designer and another content designer to map out a new form flow. Our aim was to create a journey that enabled users to get to the narrative of their complaint quickly. We based this decision on reading an HMCTS complaints journey analysis, plus our own design experience.
- Creating a second version
We built a second version of the complaints form based on the new flow. When sharing it with stakeholders, we included a brief design rationale. This was important, as we'd changed the form significantly from the initial proof of concept.
We worked with a researcher from the HMCTS User Research team, who carried out three rounds of user testing with the form. Between testing sessions and stakeholder input, we were able to quickly iterate and share different versions of the form as it evolved.
Being able to create and work on a form independently, meant that the developers were able to focus on:
- implementing any new features needed
- supporting platform users
- handling any bugs or issues.
Here's a cross section of the complaints form as it looks in Form Builder.
Complaining made easy
The ability to create, test and publish this form easily meant that we could respond to user and business needs quickly. Within three months of launching, the average number of complaints received increased by 26 percent. This established the new online form as one of the most accessible channels for making a complaint, comparable with phone and email.
What we learned from delivering the complaints form
The ability to rapidly create online forms doesn't remove the need for thorough planning and design. This shouldn't change however tight the deadline is. Creating the complaints form itself was a small part of our work, alongside:
- refining form questions
- mapping the user journey
- working with stakeholders to balance user and business needs
- creating a version for Welsh-language speakers
- building an API so form submissions could be sent to a case management system.
Next steps for Form Builder and HMCTS
Our team has recently been working with the Court of Protection to enable more staff to work remotely during COVID-19. To do this, we needed to reduce the amount of paper applications coming to the court.
In response, we delivered an online form for professionals to upload these applications, allowing the court to receive and process them on screen.
To find out more about our work or the Form Builder platform, email firstname.lastname@example.org.