Town Hall, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1RS

Kent Homechoice user testing pre-assessment and housing application forms


The Smarter Digital Services team assisted Kent Homechoice to user test their online pre-application and full-application housing forms after they were introduced in 2017.


The key objectives in this project were to test the usability of the form enhancements implemented by Locata as well as to understand the user perspective when completing the form. Other aims were to ensure the forms were:

  • user friendly
  • responsive in design
  • easy to follow and users to understand form flows
  • encourage self service and reduced avoidable contact


SDS used software to capture video and audio while the user completed the forms. This is very helpful as we record the video that captures the facial expressions and reactions, the visual of the mouse-tracking computer screen which shows where the user is looking on the page, as well as the audio and hand-written notes.


The data capture from user testing on a mobile phone is a little more complex. Researchers can record screen movements and audio and alongside comprehensive notes can provide comprehensive feedback of the user experience.


This method is vital for the user test because there is an upward trend of customers using mobile and tablet devices.

What information did we get from the user testing?

  • Captured the end-to-end process of the user
  • Assessed whether the specific task or transaction was completed successfully
  • Explored how users felt when completing the online forms
  • Assessed how satisfied the user was with the experience and outcome
  • Identified any changes or improvements that can be made from the users’ perspective

What did we find?

Most users could easily navigate, follow and understand the website homepage and online forms.

Form questions:

The organisation of the form questions was noted as an area of improvement to prevent the repetition of questions, which causes user frustration and user confusion.


Some users were confused when asked about their financial situation, such as spending on hobbies, alcohol and lottery tickets. Users expressed they felt these questions were a waste of time, unnecessary and that they did not know the exact answers.


However, all the users missed the page at the beginning of the application that explains what information is needed. SDS recommends this information is made more prominent to the user.

Smart functionalities:

The users praised the forms for being very smart. Additional functionalities such as form autofill and postcode lookup were welcomed as it was more convenient for the user, especially considering the length of the forms.

Mobile versus desktop:

In general, the users completed the online forms quicker on mobile devices compared to the desktop. The user feedback was that the forms were easy to fill in, providing the questions and answers were short.


Despite this, the user experience varied on different mobile devices as there was a difference in layout and function.


We look forward to seeing the changes that Kent Homechoice have made to their pre-application and full application online forms to be even more user-focused.


For further information, please contact SDS directly.


23 December 2018
usability testing, online forms testing
Kent Homechoice