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Environment Agency
Digital regulation gets thumbs up from users

The Environment Agency applied insights from user research to create an online service for business users and regulators.

Every year in the UK we discard an estimated 2 million tonnes of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). Fortunately for householders and companies, responsibility for financing the collection, treatment, recovery and environmentally sound disposal of this fast growing mountain of waste falls to businesses that place products on the market in the first place. WEEE Producer Compliance Schemes manage this obligation for producers of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) who place products on the UK market.

Uncovering user needs and expectations

The IT systems used by the Environment Agency (EA) to manage WEEE regulation needed modernisation so that WEEE Producer Compliance Schemes could interact with the regulators more effectively.

Recognising user needs as paramount, EA wanted user research to play a pivotal role in SFW’s design and development of the new digital service so as to better meet the needs of existing and new customers.

It was easy to engage with the 37 Producer Compliance Schemes that handle interactions on behalf of producers of electrical and electronic equipment. Almost all took part in the research and a goldmine of customer insight was collected via desk research, workshops, questionnaires and usability testing.

Working closely and collaboratively with the design and build team, the User Researcher presented key insights to shape the system build at every stage.

Less time administering the system and more time on compliance monitoring

Delivered using a Government Digital Service compliant agile methodology, and through internal assessments to Beta Public, the WEEE Online service is well-liked by EA customers and internal users alike, winning an EA internal award for Continuous Improvement and generating clear benefits now and in the future:

  • Self-service – customer transparency and more time for regulators to carry out compliance monitoring
  • Compliance – easier monitoring and improved data
  • Reusable elements – common components which can be easily used in other solutions, with all application code made open and reusable
  • Accuracy – improved reporting, everything seen in real-time
Digital regulation gets thumbs up from users
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