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Creating a new service for HMRC

The challenge:

Due to a possible change to the Scottish Rate of Income Tax, Pension Scheme administrators now need a way of checking a member’s residency status. 

When a person joins a personal pension scheme that qualifies for ‘relief at source’, the Pension Scheme Administrator (PSA) can claim tax relief from HMRC on the pension contributions.


Pension Scheme Administrators have never had a way to confirm a member’s residency status.

 We needed to:


  • Investigate the impact this new policy change would have the current processes for Pension Scheme Administrators. 


  • Design a service that will allow Pension Scheme Administrators to search for a member’s status. 

What did I do?


1)  I spoke to 35 users.


Types of research included: Interviews, remote usability testing. 


2)  Based on interviews I mapped how a user might search for the residency status for a single member 


I mapped each stage and what the user (the PSA) would need from the service.

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3)  We continuously tested and iterated a prototype of the service. 


We wanted to learn:


  • How users expect to navigate to the service.
  • If users understand what the service is, why they should use it and when they should use it?
  • If users are able to use the service to find our a members residency service (can they get through 2FA?)
  • If users understand after uploading a file when they need to come back to retrieve it, how long it will be available online, and when it will be deleted?
  • When would users expect to come back and use this service?




I grouped the finding through an affinity sort which highlighted key themes and actions.





After testing the end to end service and pulling out the key insights I plotted them on a journey map of the service. The purpose of this was to show the main parts that needed imporving.


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