Newborn registration service

Create a better user experience for parents to register the birth of their newborn.

In collaboration with

Ontario Digital Service

Release date

2019

I was responsible for

Usability testing

Content workshop

Content design

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Understand the problem

The online service no longer reflects social norms

The online Newborn Registration Service used confusing language that led parents to input information that are not accurate to what the government needs. This has resulted in added cost and labour to fix these errors (also known as adjudications).

As we become more inclusive with gender neutral parental roles, a redesigned digital service is on its way to keep up with the times.

In the meantime, our team was tasked to modify parental language in the existing legacy system while the redesign is implemented.

Constraints included:

  • we could only change text
  • we could not change any systems logic (for example we could not move questions from one page to another, remove or add another input field)
  • we could not change policy or regulations
  • maintain gender neutral language

Workshop to uncover system requirements

The purpose of the workshop was to:

  • Identify all users that go through the system (regardless of whether or not they are qualified to apply)
  • Go through each problematic screen and identify which form fields are intended for which users
  • Brainstorm possible solutions

1. Person(s) certifying the birth registration

Problem area
A. Parent who gave birth (birth parent) only
B. Parent who gave birth (birth parent) and parent(s)
C. Parent(s) only (one or more parents are incapable due to illness or death)
D. Other (person with care and custody)
What we uncovered during the workshop

You would select between A to D depending on your role:

A
  • Biological mother
  • Single father
  • Transgender female to male who gave birth
  • Single mother
  • Surrogacy
B
  • Biological mother and father, or more
  • Intended parents
  • Surrogacy
  • Transgender female to male and spouse
C
  • Biological or single father (incapacitated spouse)
  • Birth parent (incapacitated)
D
  • Legal guardian

2. Birth parent’s information

Problem area
What we uncovered during the workshop

Who the system wants in this step

  • Biological mother (include single mother)
  • Non-biological parent (surrogacy)
  • Transgender female to male who gave birth

Who the system did not want

  • Biological father
  • Spouse of mother who gave birth
  • Single father
  • Legal guardian
  • Caregiver
  • Donor
  • Surrogate
  • Intended parent

3. Next parent’s information

Problem area
What we uncovered during the workshop

Who the system wants in this step

  • Biological father (single father also in this category)
  • Spouse of birth mother
  • Intended parent
  • The next non-biological parent (surrogacy)

Who the system did not want

  • Biological mother
  • Single mother
  • Legal guardian
  • Caregiver
  • Donor
  • Surrogate
  • Transgender female to male who gave birth

Usability with adapted A/B test

Two versions of the prototypes were presented, alternating between A/B and B/A, to reduce bias on the first prototype presented.

Participant profiles

There were a total of 14 participants.

Demographics

Parent (13)

English as a Second Language (2)

Low digital literacy (2)

LGBTQ+ (2)

Cis-female (6)

Cis-male (7)

1. Person(s) certifying the birth registration

2. Parent who gave birth

3. Next parent

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Design takeaways

The approved version was a hybrid that used the best elements from each prototype. Here are some design takeaways:

  • using red text does not make people want to read
  • left align input fields help people scan the content quicker
  • providing more examples and explanations can be confusing
  • the order of the questions matters

1. Person(s) certifying the birth registration

What was live
Proposed changes

2. Parent who gave birth

What was live
Proposed changes

3. Next parent

What was live
Proposed changes
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Reduction of error rates

Error rates that require manual changes

One parent’s name is listed twice

Father listed as parent who gave birth

Only the father’s name is listed

Takeaway

By workshopping with ministry partners to test the prototypes, we were able to make inclusive changes and reduce the number of manual fixes required given the limited constraints.

Since we implemented the changes on March 31, 2019, the most noticeable improvement was the error of the father listed as the parent who gave birth, with a 56% reduction in the three months since the changes went live.

Small wins are still improvements.