Invitation to tender: web usability testing

We are seeking proposals and quotations for carrying out usability testing of the Wycombe District Council website.


We identified and tested our top ten tasks with users in 2012. We most recently retested the tasks as part of our website refresh in 2015-16.

Our new website was built to provide good usability across devices. We also re-wrote all the top task content focussing on user needs. The navigation was redesign based upon user research and other data.

Due to limited resources we are looking for a usability agency to do this on our behalf.

The results of the user testing will inform ongoing content and navigation changes to improve user experience.


We are looking for a usability agency to test our top ten tasks with customers in moderated user testing sessions at the council offices.

We would like you to:

  • recruit participants (from a list of email addresses that we supply)
  • organise the sessions with participants
  • run the sessions
  • provide us with full video recordings of the sessions and edited footage as part of your report
  • provide us with a report of your findings and recommendations for ongoing content and navigation changes
  • we would like the testing to incorporate using other third party services such as our separate planning and payments sites and a range of different web forms
  • subject to budget, we would like you to test on mobile devices as well as desktop/laptop

As we are retesting top tasks, we will provide a list of top tasks to test. We will also provide up to four additional tasks to test.

We will share the results of the previous round of testing with the appointed supplier.

We can provide equipment for the sessions if necessary (computer, screen, keyboard, mouse, Camtasia, microphone). Our IT rules do not allow external parties access to our network, but we do have wi-fi in the building.

We would like to observe some of the user testing sessions.

We will provide shopping vouchers as incentives to participants for completing a session. We will not offer expenses to participants.

Background to the project

In 2012 we started a project to restructure our website around our users' top tasks (the things people come to our website to do the most).

We identified the top tasks by looking at evidence (web statistics, search logs, statistics from our services and customer service centre) and then ran a survey to ask our customers to vote on their top tasks.

From this list, we took the top ten tasks and tested these with customers looking specifically at ease and speed of completion. This first round of user testing was carried out in November 2012.

An external agency carried out further testing for us in April 2015 in preparation for work on our new website.

In both instances, 20 people took part (15 customers and 5 WDC staff). The participants were recruited from people who took part in the website top tasks survey and said they would be interested in helping us test the website further.

Our new website was built around responsive design to provide a good user experience across devices: phone, tablet, desktop, laptop. We also redesign our navigation based upon detailed research and using a GOV.UK style menu. We re-wrote all top task content and we're progressively reviewing all content across the site.

We wish to measure the usability of the new site in addition to the core function of meeting user needs for the top tasks.


Participants came to the council offices and each was given a series of tasks to complete on the WDC website. For each task they were asked to start on the homepage and not to use the website search (unless they got stuck).

Each task was timed to see how long it took to complete or before it was abandoned; each participant was given between four and six tasks to complete (depending on how quickly they did them - we expected each task to take no longer than 10 minutes to complete).

We asked participants to think aloud as they worked through each task and each session was recorded using screen and voice capture software.

To supplement the results of the testing we also asked participants a series of questions regarding their impressions of the homepage, the website in general and how they go about finding things on the internet.



  • Deadline for quotations to be received: 2pm on Friday 23 February 2018
  • Supplier appointed: Friday 2 March 2018
  • Target date for completion of work: four weeks after supplier appointed

Return of quotations

The deadline for quotations to be received is 2pm on Friday 23 February 2018. Please send quotations by email to:

Please include:

  • Your quotation as detailed above
  • Two references or referee contact details

Suppliers are reminded that this is a competitive tender and that price is a key element of the evaluation process.


If you have any questions, please contact: