To make sure we understand user needs in the two months since the Digital Marketplace Beta was released we’ve had 10 face-to-face meetings with government buyers and 13 with registered sellers, on average a meeting every second day. In response to their feedback, this is how we’ve iterated and improved the Marketplace.
We’ve made it easier for buyers to evaluate responses to briefs
Buyers and sellers have told us they appreciate how easy it is to respond to the opportunities that have so far been posted in the Marketplace, however, buyers said they need more information to carry out evaluation and shortlisting. Sellers also asked to add further detail to their responses.
To address these requests we’ve added some simple additions to the brief response form. Sellers will be able to add text to support their response to a brief’s essential and nice-to-have criteria. We know this solution will require further refinement to meet our goal of accommodating the ‘level of simplicity, creativity and structure appropriate to each procurement interaction’ as stated in our vision, but it’s an important first step.
Helping sellers sell themselves
Sellers have told us they want more control over the representation of their businesses to prospective government buyers. They want the ability to edit their company profiles in order to personalise them and to demonstrate the skills and expertise they have.
We’ve responded to this in two ways: by giving sellers the ability to edit their business summary, and by allowing sellers to create and curate a range of case studies of completed projects. This feature will be trialled next week to selected sellers. These solutions will help buyers by giving them more useful information on sellers in one easy-to-access place.
Helping buyers find what they need in the Marketplace
Government buyers have told us they want to use the Digital Marketplace seller catalogue for research and need more information and smarter search functionality in order to do this effectively.
Search is on our roadmap and the addition of case studies will give lots of text for buyers to search, which will help buyers discover sellers that can meet their needs in future.
As well as working on new features, we’ll continue to collect feedback and commentary from our buyers and sellers that we’ll use to develop and improve this part of the process.
We still have lots of work to do, and our users will continue to be a pivotal part of the entire journey.
If you’d like to help us shape the Marketplace by taking part in user research, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.