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Land Registry - Service Assessment

Home buyers and business intermediaries will be able to search for, gain data on and register property in the UK, without the need for the delays inherent in current paper based systems.

Department / Agency:
BIS / Land Registry

Date of Assessment:

Assessment stage:
Alpha Review

Result of Assessment:

Lead Assessor:

Service Manager:

Digital Leader:
T. Knighton

Assessment Report

The Land Registry Alpha has been reviewed against the 26 points of the Service Standard at the end of the Alpha development.

Outcome of service assessment

After consideration we have concluded the Land Registry Alpha service is on track to meet the Digital by Default Service Standard at this early stage of development.


The assessment panel recognises the executive level support that has been given by the Land Registry to this Alpha. The panel were impressed by the breadth of the Alpha and the ambition to truly transform Land Registry’s business and the way it supports its many customers. They found that the Land Registry is working on the right lines to meet the panel’s expectations at the next, Beta, assessment. Areas that stood out to the panel include:

  • Adoption of modern, open, software practices, tools, environments and standards, preventing long term lock-in to specific vendors.
  • The depth of user research, participated in by the whole team, underpinning the Alpha and using it to guide the proposed betas.
  • The Service Manager’s determination to build an in house team, whilst being mindful of the need to allow outside influence to ensure the way the organisation works is always current.
  • Deep understanding of the data, its constraints and the opportunities to use it wider and in a safe manner.
  • Understanding their requirement to ensure appropriate assisted digital support for users currently choosing to use paid intermediaries, and for all users during the GOV.UK Verify section of the service.
  • Understanding their requirement to help assisted digital users to be more likely to be able to complete this (and other) services independently in future.


Point 1 - Understand user needs. Research to develop a deep knowledge of who the service users are and what that means for digital and assisted digital service design.

  • The panel encourage the service to compile a log of assisted digital, digital inclusion and other important population user dimensions during user research and usability testing. This helps in ensuring the service have a rounded understanding of their user strata.
  • The panel recommend the service tests alternative designs to reduce confusion around tenure (i.e. when the same address appears twice).
    Effort should be made to clear roadblock to providing incentives. This helps to get less biased recruiting for user research and usability testing.

Point 2 - Put in place a sustainable multidisciplinary team that can design, build and operate the service, led by a suitably skilled and senior service manager with decision-making responsibility.

  • The service should consider how they scale their service delivery teams. To be successful they will need to balance the ambitions of starting quickly, whilst being able to find the right permanent members of staff.
  • The service recognise they have had the benefit of pairing across the team with GDS during Alpha. As the number of people from GDS will be lower in Beta they should consider the softer aspects of service design and build that the GDS people brought to your team. The service should make sure they know how to use the tools GDS brought and also ensure their people are plugged into the right communities of practice.
  • The panel encourage you to embed content designers in each team to ensure the text in each product works as well as possible. Where reasonable, a content designer should attend user testing to gain a better understanding of the sorts of problems users have with the copy, to try new ideas, and to feed back insight about effective content design from the testing sessions to the wider teams.

Point 9 - Create a service that is simple and intuitive enough that users succeed first time, unaided.

  • The panel recommend you take a ‘mobile first’ approach to all of your design. The disciplines required to design a compelling and intuitive service will benefit all of your users, not just those who are using mobile.

Point 10 - Put appropriate assisted digital support in place that’s aimed towards those who genuinely need it.

  • The service should carry out research with assisted digital users of their service (including those with the lowest levels of digital ability) to understand their needs and numbers.
  • The service should talk to users seeking support from places other than their own provision, and across all channels.
  • The service should test and iterate their assisted digital user personas, to ensure they’re accurate.

Point 11 - Plan (with GDS) for the phasing out of any existing alternative channels, where appropriate.

  • The service should contact the Digital Take Up team at GDS to confirm more detailed plans to increase digital take up of their service.
  • The service should ensure their plans include understanding of channel volumes and which organisations/groups are helping users across each of those channels.

Point 20 - Put a plan in place for ongoing user research and usability testing to continuously seek feedback from users.

  • The panel encourage you to create more complete customer journey mapping activity, e.g. an end-to-end visual representation of the user’s journey, starting with awareness of a need for information, through the pages in the service, to having a clear understanding of their answer.
  • Expression of clear user / usability targets / hypotheses / goals and their measurement and iteration, logged and, preferably, made visible for the team.

Digital by Default Service Standard criteria

Criteria Passed Criteria Passed
1 Yes 2 Yes
3 Yes 4 Yes
5 Yes 6 Yes
7 Yes 8 Yes
9 Yes 10 Yes
11 Yes 12 Yes
13 Yes 14 Yes
15 Yes 16 Yes
17 Yes 18 Yes
19 Yes 20 Yes
21 Yes 22 Yes
23 Yes 24 Yes
25 Yes 26 Yes