Moving HS2 to a service design approach.
High Speed Two (HS2) is the new high speed railway being built as the backbone of the national rail network. It will link London and Birmingham to Manchester, the East Midlands and Leeds. It is the first main line railway to be built in the UK since 1899.
HS2 grew rapidly throughout 2015, as it progressed through the House of Commons legislative process and began to prepare for construction. As part of a broader business transformation programme, HS2 needed to deliver information systems capabilities that would maximise organisational effectiveness.
HS2 was looking to achieve a step-change in its ability to design, deliver and operate high-quality IT solutions that were better aligned with the needs of the organisation and its users.
Rainmaker led a ten-week user research project to investigate how HS2 used technology and to provide the data to support decisions around organisational culture, ways of working and the design and delivery of services.
A design research methodology was employed which focused on user needs and building empathy between users – HS2 staff and partners – and designers – those with responsibility for creating and maintaining the IT systems.
Following a series of interviews and cultural probes with over 100 users from across the organisation, HS2 gained a wide understanding of high-level user needs, pain points and personas The engagements helped HS2 understand how and why people interacted with technology and they informed strategic decisions about technology design and procurement.
Rainmaker committed to skills transfer, delivering the whole project in close collaboration with the HS2 team and producing a toolkit for conducting effective user research in future.
“Rainmaker have been able to tell us quickly what needs to be done, but in such a positive way that it has created fantastic results within the team.”
Head of Information Management, HS2
Detailed understanding of user needs.
Extensive knowledge transfer.
Research focused on users’ pain points, needs and ideas to make things better.
Developed user research tool kit, published on GitHub, for the benefit of the wider user research community.
Technology at heart of organisation.
Encapsulated in a new digital strategy which embraced a new culture based on improved ways of working.
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