User Research

Have you got a spare hour to chat with us?

The NHS Digital Pathology and Diagnostics team is taking a User Centred Design approach to formally identify user requirements for iterative development and testing of our products / future standards.

For our Pathology & Diagnostic investigation we are looking for:

  • Specialists in the Cellular Pathology field:  Paediatric and Perinatal, Cytology, Oral & Maxillofacial, Neuropathology and Molecular  
  • Laboratory staff: Technicians, Biochemists, Supervisors and Laboratory Managers 
  • GPs, junior doctors, medical students etc, both Primary Care & Secondary Care 
  • Nurses and support staff who requests / receive pathology results within the cellular pathology space

The sessions are remote and last about 60 mins. It will give you the opportunity to provide feedback and help shape a government service. Please get in touch and get involved!“

Our team mailbox address is 

User Research show and tell video

Show and tells are a chance for us to keep everyone up to date with what we’re working on. The format is pretty simple: we talk through something we’ve been working on and our stakeholders can ask questions and make suggestions. Everyone is welcome.

This is part of our team’s efforts to work in the open.

For this one, we are showing you some takeaways we learned from speaking to experts in the Cytology field. 

Whiteboarding user research problem - complex reporting

Whiteboarding is a process of collaborating. We have been using virtual white boards (Mural) to help us visualise user research problems. 

Whiteboarding replaces an older form of documenting with an easy to digest, digital interface where we can draw, link, comment and label information in one space creating mind maps that help us make sense of complex structures like pathology reporting. 

This is an example of one such board where the team can add, edit and share as a 'working' document and it needs to be looked at as such. To view its current state please click here.

User Centred Design Documentation

Note: that the below artefacts are currently in draft format and will be regularly updated. Please click on the links below to download


Personas are fictional characters that represent a group of users with the similar behaviours, motivation need and goals.  Good personas are realistic, give actionable insight and reference for future decisions.

User needs

A user need is an actionable problem statement used to summarize who a particular user is, the user’s need, and why the need is important to that user. It defines what you want to solve before you move on to generating potential solutions. They are high level, broad in scope and timeless and do not suggest specific solutions. 

User Stories

The purpose of a user story is to articulate how a piece of work will deliver a particular value back to the customer

Pat the Pathologist Journey Map

Pav the Pathologist Journey Map

Gemma the GP Journey Map

Cellular Pathology Journey Map

A journey map is a visualization of the process that a person goes through in order to accomplish a goal. In its most basic form, journey mapping is a series of user actions mapped into a timeline. Then user thoughts and emotions are fleshed out in order to create a narrative that helps build empathy and understanding for a user within the delivery team. 

Agile Framework

This document will outline the standards for how Agile is best utilised for the NHS Digital Pathology and Diagnostics Team.

The changes applied will support processes that allow for rapid user feedback that allow NHS Digital to fail fast, learn from stakeholders and respond to user needs. 

  • The processes discussed will support the Pathology and Diagnostics Team to work in an Agile Framework with User Centred Design at the heart of our approach
  • The processes discussed will also support ways of working that allow for rapid user feedback which will enable NHS Digital to fail fast, learn from stakeholders and respond to user needs. 

Cytology Discovery Findings

User Research findings in the field of Cytology

Paediatric and Perinatal Discovery Findings

User Research findings in the field of Paediatric and Perinatal pathology 

Maxillofacial and Oral pathology discovery findings 

User Research findings in the field of Maxillofacial and Oral pathology

Primary Care Discovery Findings

User Research findings in the field of Primary Care