Effective consultation processes for beneficial ownership transparency reform

  • Publication date: 20 June 2020

Systems and Data

Tere are significant resources available online on how to design good user-centred technology products, and a number of governments around the world have laid out their approaches to this including Argentina, Canada, the UK and the United States. Below, we sketch out some approaches to achieving each of the four areas of good user-centred design.

User-centred design requires doing the following four things:

  1. Requirements gathering: understanding and specifying the context of use
  2. Requirements specification: specifying the user and organisational requirements
  3. Design: producing designs and prototypes
  4. Evaluation: carrying out a user-based assessment of the website or system developed

There are significant resources available online on how to design good user-centred technology products, and a number of governments around the world have laid out their approaches to this including Argentina, Canada, the UK and the United States. Below, we sketch out some approaches to achieving each of the four areas of good user-centred design.

Table 1: Approaches to achieving good user-centred design
Method Output Sample size When to use
Focus groups: A focus group involves encouraging an invited group of intended/actual users of a website or system to share their thoughts, feelings, attitudes and ideas on a certain subject. Low Requirements gathering
Questionnaires: Questionnaires are a means of asking users for their responses to a predefined set of questions and are a good way of generating statistical data. Statistical High Requirements gathering and evaluation
Interviews: Interviews are usually employed early in the design process in order to gain a more detailed understanding of a domain/area of activity or specific requirements. Low Requirements gathering and evaluation
Usability testing: A person is invited to attend a session in which they are asked to perform a series of tasks using the system while a moderator takes note of any difficulties they encounter. Statistical and non-statistical Low Design and evaluation
Participatory design: Participatory design does not just ask users for their opinions on design issues, but actively involves them in the design and decision-making processes. Low Design

Based on an approach used by digital agency Inviqa.[1]

Depending on the particular system that is being developed, different user groups will need to be consulted. The following illustrates four common types of system that implementers develop where user-centred design can strengthen data use and subsequent policy impact:

  • Development of a data input and storage system for use by staff at company registry: consult staff who will input data to the system and access data stored within it, and representatives of companies who will be required to provide information to registry staff
  • Development of a data input system for use by companies and/or professional service providers: consult people who will be submitting data; for example, those working at companies that will need to disclose. Professional service providers may work with data for multiple companies and therefore may have different needs to companies submitting their own disclosure
  • Development of a public website to publish beneficial ownership disclosures: consult all groups of users who will need to use beneficial ownership data in order to achieve policy impact. For example: journalists, civil society organisations, small and large businesses, general public.
  • Development of web services to share (additional non-public) data with key stakeholders: consult each stakeholder group; for example, staff in government departments such as tax authorities and financial intelligence units.

Engaging as broadly as possible with these user groups and undertaking good user-centred design with them will be key to creating an easy-to-use data collection system. Specific effort should be made to target ‘edge cases’ – users with atypical requirements such as very complex ownership structures, for example – to ensure the system can function across the full range of requirements that are needed.

Key outcomes from the ‘data and systems’ stage

  1. Technical systems are built to collect, store and publish beneficial ownership data that fulfil the requirements of legislation and meet the needs of user groups.
  2. Key user groups are aware of the new systems and ready to use them when the systems go live. For some groups such as registry staff, inputs at this stage can be used to help develop formal training on using the new systems.
  3. Evaluation identifies aspects of the system to monitor or test closely after launch along with areas for future improvement, such as features not initially included in the system.
Footnote

[1] Inviqa, Alexander Baxevanis, "User-centred design: 6 popular UCD methods". Available at: https://inviqa.com/blog/user-centred-design-6-popular-ucd-methods [Accessed 26 June 2020]

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