Policy Tool

The challenge

A new open source tool that will allow other organisations and users to explore the impact of scientific research publications in policy making. The focus was creating an MVP to obtain feedback as early as possible so that it could be used to make quick decisions.


1. Understand (Discovery & Definition)
2. Ideate (Ideation & Prototyping)
3. Materialise (Testing & Delivery)


Product Owner – Hunter Blanks
UX research – Aoife Spengeman
UX design – Pedro Falcão

1. Understand – Discovery & Definition

I started by doing secondary research to gain a deeper personal understanding about the world of scientific research and policy making. It also important to read through the existing Github documentation about the product and research about ethics in product development.


Previous user research identified two main types of personas

  • The Data Consumer: They are a technical data scientist or data analyst, who are used to looking at large values of data and extract insights from them;
  • The Insights Seeker: They are a programme or evaluation manager or officer in a funding institution;

Defining an MVP

In addition to regular interviews that helped us to understand user needs, we also run user story mapping sessions to help us define and prioritise the website’s features & functionality.


2. Ideate – Ideation & Prototyping

After the initial discovery phase, we were in a good place to sketch out primary user flows and generate different of ideas.


3. Materialise (Testing & Delivery)

Iterative testing and design

Regular concept testing and user interview sessions were conducted to test the solutions implemented. User feedback was incorporated into each successive redesign of the Policy Tool (e.g. need to have consistent labelling throughout; be clear about how the algorithm works).

Brand, responsive design and accessibility

Beta testing took place, checking responsive layout elements, content hierarchic, and accessibility (level AA). This lead to changes from content to colour adjustments.


A design system for MVP

This document provides a high level overview of the Policy Tool brand and style. Spectre.CSS is used as the CSS framework, but the UI components should be adapted to provide a unique user experience to the website.

Policy Tool_Styleguide_2Policy Tool_Styleguide_2