Digital ID Photo Sending Service

Digital ID Photo Sending Service
Executive Summary
h e UK is ranked number 9 in the top 10 of Internet users worldwide1, and 84% of the
population are now classed as “online”2. This continued digital shift comes with extra convenience
and significant cost savings for both organisations and consumers.
Many organisations have identified that by moving their traditional paper-based processes online they
can take advantage of cost savings through increased operational efficiency, reduced overheads, and
in most cases it allows organisations to deliver quicker more efficient services with a better user
experience. For consumers, the move online away from paper processes, makes life simpler and more
As more processes do move online, the requirement for identity assurance becomes more complex.
In the UK the government has stated that digital identity is a core enabler of their digital
transformation by creating trusted transactions to allow people to move online safely and securely.
The Digital ID Photo Sending Service (“DIPSS”) project focuses on one of the critical components
of identity; a photograph.
This component supports the identity ecosystem by providing an additional element, delivered in a
digital way to enable the individual to assert their identity.
The photograph is a key identity element and forms an important part of numerous identity
processes, and user access globally. For example, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)
in the UK alone processes more than 3.5 million photographs per annum for new driving licence
applications and renewals.
This project demonstrated that users preferred the process of using a digital photograph in an online
process to the existing paper based one. Choice was important to users, as was the convenience
around the location and the privacy of the environment it was taken in.
Users stated they would like to use digital photographs across multiple applications and stated they
trusted government when they thought their photograph resided with them.
Clear, concise instruction on how users move into an online journey were critical in terms of user
understanding and to the perception of an online service overall. Additional cost savings and areas
for further investigation were identified as part of the project.
The overall findings were that enabling photographs to be shared electronically with user consent in a
trusted framework will mean that customer journeys can be streamlined, interactions improved and
processes can be simplified, which could result in both savings for organisations and users
This small-scale project also indicated that the demographic within the test had some challenges with
the creation of a digital identity, although user feedback was not taken around this specifically.
However it was found that if they had a digital identity they would be inclined to increase the amount
of services they accessed which could result in huge cost savings.
Full details of the project method, outcomes and recommendations can be found in this document.
Table of Contents
1. Background and the Market
Background and the Market
Currently many services that rely on photographs as part of
Overall Project Method
identity processes still do so through manual processes. The cost
of a first class stamp is £0.63 and to send a letter confirmed
Second Session
delivery is £1.73.
Third Session
Other Feedback
For users this means they need to have a photograph taken and
Input from Organisation
then print and send the physical copy with an application form, for
example the renewal of a driving licence that is then sent through
the post. These types of application processes can involve
10. Principles from Findings
completing many forms and having to send multiple physical
11. Conclusion
letters. Sometimes this information has to be duplicated for access
to different services.
This is a cost for the consumer both in time and repetition of
process, and often can require access to I.T. hardware, such as a
printer. There is also the risk of forms and photographs containing
sensitive personal information going missing in the post.
Organisations have to process forms using employees who are
required to manually review the document; sometimes these
documents pass through multiple departments. The current cost
for the DVLA to process a driving licence application is £10.33.
Therefore anything that can be identified to bring these costs
down is beneficial for UK PLC and its taxpayers.
Central and local government have stated that moving a service
from face to face to online delivery is estimated to drop the cost of
the transaction from as much as £15 to £0.17
The table below is by no means an exhaustive list but denotes the
major identity photograph transaction requirements. This gives us
an indication of the potential market size for identity photographs
in the UK. There are other uses of identity photographs, such as
the employment market including civil servants, security clearance,
NUS cards, credit cards with photo ID images and PASS cards for
proof of age.
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Information From
Directly from HMPO
6, 300,000
Driving Licence (new
Directly from DVLA
Blue Badge Applications
Information taken from
WCC project
Biometric Residency Permits
* this number is set to rise to 700,000 in 2016 with the introduction of new “Right to Work” checking
For a photograph to be valid and therefore able to be used within one of the use cases above there
are requirements about how the photograph is taken. The table below shows the requirements for a
passport photograph in the UK.
Passport Photographs
Your photos must be professionally printed and 45 millimetres (mm) high by 35mm wide - the
standard size used in photo booths in the UK. Standard sizes in photo booths outside the UK can be
different - make sure you get the right size
The photos
Your photos must be:
in colour on plain white photographic paper
taken against a plain cream or light grey background
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taken within the last month
clear and in focus
without any tears or creases
unmarked on both sides (unless a photo needs to be countersigned)
unaltered by computer software
The image of you
Your photos must show a close-up of your full head and shoulders. It must be only of you with no
other objects or people.
The image of you - from the crown of your head to your chin - must be between 29mm and 34mm
high (see example below).
Your photos may be rejected unless they show you:
facing forward and looking straight at the camera
with a neutral expression and your mouth closed
without anything covering the face
in clear contrast to the background
without a head covering (unless it’s worn for religious or medical reasons)
with eyes open, visible and free from reflection or glare from glasses
with your eyes not covered by sunglasses, tinted glasses, glasses frames or hair
without any ‘red eye’
without any shadows in the picture
The quality, style and appearance of passport photographs have to meet the standard set by the
International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). For other transactions such as the DVLA and
other photograph requirements, the standards can and do differ.
The market for supply of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)3 compliant photos as a
service provision is available to the general public, and overall there are estimated to be over 23,000
outlets of accredited photographers than can take ICAO compliant photos. These are comprised of:
Independent photographers – circa 1,500 independent photographers
ICAO Doc 9303 and the Portrait Quality Technical Report 0.04. Also refer to the International Organization for Standardization
document ISO/IEC 19794-5:2011.
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Retail service providers and chemists – circa 5,000 outlets in chemists and retail service providers
such as Boots Pharmacy, Lloyds Pharmacy, Snappy Snaps, Timpson, Kodak Express and Max
Spielmann who provide this service
Post Offices – Local and Crown (who also provide a check & send service) – circa 11,000 local
and Crown Post Offices
Photo Booths – circa 6000 automated booths e.g. Photo-Me
The photo service providers above allow users to have ICAO compliant photographs to be taken and
then give the user the physical copy. These photographs have to be sent to the organisations
requesting them e.g. DVLA through the post.
Whilst it is not a prerequisite to have a photograph taken by an accredited photographer, the service
providers above often ensure that the photograph will be compliant with the relevant standards. This
reduces the potential for the photograph to be rejected by the organisation who requires the
photograph as part of the application process, e.g. DVLA and HMPO.
Why move the process online?
With somewhere in the region of 9,800,000 photographs having to be processed by just the DVLA
and Passport Office alone, combined with the cost to the user of postage and length of time it takes
for the user to send their document through the process, there is a substantial cost across the
ecosystem maintaining the current manual processes.
It is clear there is a potential desire from user and organisation perspectives to both cut cost and
reduce time. The market size and potential is huge, and there are many multiples of places digital
photographs can be taken so elements of the infrastructure to make this a reality are already in place.
This project allowed us to draw up some principles by which photographs could and should be
shared digitally, with user consent at the heart of the design.
This project addresses how identity document (driving licence and passport) compliant photographs
taken offline could be made available through online processes in a streamlined user journey. It tests
user attitudes to the journey from a convenience, cost and security standpoint.
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When moving services online there are a number of elements that have to be considered:
User Needs – what do users want to do, what do they like or do not like about processes?
Privacy – can users’ privacy be protected and maintained?
Security – how secure are the potential new processes? How could they be made more
Commercial – what are the commercial drivers to make this a reality?
Blockers – what are the potential blockers to making this a reality?
Whilst this project has been predominantly focused on user feedback and needs, other elements
noted above have been considered, discussed and this white paper provides feedback.
2. Scope – Aims
There were two main aims for this project:
1. To explore user journeys for a digital photo and a digital photo sending service, identify the
strengths and weaknesses of different approaches from the perspective of users and iterate
towards a usable and acceptable user journey
2. To identify potential user concerns or misunderstanding of a digital photo sending service
and its use by a third party (DVLA)
In Scope
Based on the following use case –
Renewal of 10-year driving licence
Two user journeys of the use case, both involving self-service digital photo capture and
assisted-service digital photo capture
Development of two sets of clickable wireframes to conduct user testing
User testing of “happy” journeys
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Project Participants
Innovate Identity
Jude Rattle – User Researcher
James Boardwell - Rattle Central
3. Overall Project Method
This discovery project ran over 2 months, from mid-April 2015 to mid-June 2015.
The high level project ran with multiple workshops and phases of user testing as described below:
1. Development of prototype wireframes and user journeys
2. Development of DVLA driving licence renewal letter to include photo shop and photo
booth information
3. User selection
4. User testing – Phase 1
5. Iteration – Amends to letter and wireframes
6. User testing – Phase 2
7. Iteration – significant changes to letter and minor changes to wireframes
8. User testing – Phase 3 (final)
Participant Selection
There were three rounds of four participants per iteration (twelve participants in total), for ninety
minute 1-1 interviews.
Age range
50% to be in age range 27-35 years
50% to be in age range 55-69 years
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Participant criteria
Holds a valid UK driving licence and UK passport
Must be willing and able to walk to a nearby location (approx. 5 minutes walk) during the
research session
Must not be rejecters of photo booths or having their photo taken in a photo shop
Even split of male/female
Half of users were classed as representative of the general population of online users. The
other half were of low levels of online ability.
Qualitative feedback
Qualitative feedback is used as part of this process because it provides more precise explanations for
areas that need improvement or those that should not be changed. Such feedback is often useful
because it allows those giving the feedback to be more specific about what they do or do not like and
what they believe could be improved. This is essential for clear iterations during the process.
Initial State
Letter from the DVLA stating they needed to renew their driving licence
Process Stages
Completed identity verification through GOV.UK Verify
Gained a photograph with a code from a photo booth (Photo-Me) or photo
shop (Timpson)
Completed application for a driving licence online renewal with the DVLA
End State
Below is a diagram of the user journey that participants took. Half of the participants were asked to
complete the journey through a photo booth (Photo-Me) and half through a photo shop (Timpson).
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Levels of Assurance
Different types of service require
different levels of assurance that the
digital identity being invoked is current,
correct, and being used by the individual
to which it relates / belongs.
4. Findings
First Round of User Testing
Each participant was given a DVLA letter. This letter is identical
to the letter that is used in the real world today apart from one
exception. The only change offered users the additional option to
Level 0: under level 0, the real
identity of the individual is of no
importance or relevance. As a
have their new photograph, which is required as part of the
renewal process, taken in a photo booth or photo shop. This
courtesy, individuals may be
letter was the start of the user journey and the call to action for
offered the ability to save
preferences, but no personal data is
specifically solicited.
Example of First Letter
At first users struggled to grasp the concept in the first phase and
Level 1: under level 1, the identity
they said it wasn’t clear to them where to start or what to do
created and asserted by the
individual need not relate to their
real identity, and is not tested or
Users had to decide where to start the journey; a few participants
checked in any way by the service
visited the website first, rather than going to get their photo
provider. Personal information may
be solicited, but is not shared.
Level 2: under level 2, the
Two participants wanted to start by having their photograph
individual assets a real identity, and
done so looked for the nearest photo supplier to them. These
the service provider takes measures
to check the validity of that
identity. The process of checking
picture taken and looked at the start page. In this first round of
the evidence submitted in support
research, the ‘find your nearest’ was only available from within
of the identity is not conducted
face-to-face with the individual
users tried Google to search for where they would have their
Level 3: under level 3, the
individual asserts a real identity,
the service, once users had logged in.
Therefore when the participants started the process online first,
and is required to provide physical
they took a user journey that sent them into a process of using
proof of identity in the presence of
their existing passport photograph. Some users stated they did
the service provider (face-to-face).
not like their passport photograph so would have preferred to
The IDAP programme assumes the need for
Level 2 assurance for all transactions. For
have a new one taken, therefore this journey was not satisfactory
from their perspective.
further information on levels of assurance, as
defined by the CESG – the National Technical
Authority for Information Assurance, see
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Respondent’s comments
regarding the
feedback from first round:
“It would be easy if there was an
going tothe
get2 your
done but
only difference is you get a number
with it. And can use that number when
33 supplier- what
id photo
is one of these? It’s pretty unclear.
a piece
of will
and easy. I've
be sent electronically
got to
to us
say- what
I'm not
but I found
it easy.”
is quite
and not
terribly clear. You need to read what
was going on." Jane 57
"It was quick and easy, other than
having to log out and go up the road
and come back. If the information
(about where to get photo taken)
was there already I could have gone
out before I logged in and it would
be very quick and easy. Give me all
the relevant info at the beginning so
I can use it straight away.
Convenience is comments
key. It was simple,
once it was explained" Robert, 33
DVLA Letter:
“I won’t let my boyfriend see my
"Be clearer in the letter about what you
passport photo” Jane, 57
must do. Be a bit more specific. Make it
clear what to do if you want one or the
other" Jonathan, 26
"Straight away I'd think oh ****, how does
that work, what do I have to do. How
would I get the photo online? You’ve
already lost me on the 2nd line” Jackie,
"It's more important to explain about
what you need to do rather than the
payment" Michael 55
Overall Review of First Round of User
Overall users gave positive feedback, however it was felt that
improvements could be made to the initial letter to improve the
user understanding at the start of the journey. It was anticipated
that by making the process clearer at the start, through iteration of
the letter from the DVLA, would improve the overall user
5. Second Session
The DVLA Letter
After the first session of user testing, changes were made to the
DVLA letter with the intent of giving each participant two
alternative versions to explain the service. Users were also
presented with two options for getting a photo into their
application, using either the existing passport photo or new a
digital photo. There was also a statement added which said the
photograph had to be a “true likeness”.
This iteration of the letter still didn’t make it clear enough for
Respondent’s comments on
New Wireframes
"I'd get the photo taken. I'd do that to get
the unique number. I didn't even know
they did photo booths with security
number. I'd investigate online. I'd find out
about this. This unique code I'd have to
find out where to go…Help me know
where the shops are and how they
function. The photo transferring was
easy” Michael, 55
Changes were also made to the wireframes to include a link to find
out more about how to get a new photo taken and obtain a photo
code. Users were required to scroll down the page to find the
details about where to get a new photograph taken.
“It needs more information about what to
do and where to get your photo taken.
And not at the bottom of the page. I
wouldn’t have read it there” Sabah, 37
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Respondent’s comments
to photobooth:
Photo booth
In this round of testing there was some confusion about the photo
“The bit in the booth started to
annoy me, I thought I was in the
wrong place." Michael, 55
“I like the booth more that it tells
you if the photo is right or wrong and
you don’t have to fiddle with the
chair. But it doesn't give you as much
direction as to what to expect. I only
checked on the outside, as I didn’t
know where the code was. It doesn't
say anywhere you'll get a photo
(printed).I'd like clearer instructions
in the booth where to find your code"
Sabah, 37
Respondent’s comments
to true likeness:
booth process and where to pick up the code. The code was produced
at the front of the booth but some users stayed inside the booth at the
end of the process as they thought the code would be produced inside
the booth.
True Likeness
Many services which require a photograph as part of the process e.g.
DVLA and concessionary travel passes have to ensure that is it a
current photograph. This is interpreted to users as needing to be a
“true likeness of you”.
“Coming from the business I’m in I’d
prefer to have an up to date photo,
and for everyone to have an up to
date photo. Examiners look to check
because they are going to try to stop
people taking tests for other
people.” Michael 55
“The thing that is important is that
it's an up to date image of you.”
Michael, 55
Overall feedback
“A new photo system and it can
transfer it directly without you
bothering sending something off and
without postage. It's a more
convenient way of doing it
electronically. It’s a direct link to
the GOV.UK site” Michael, 55
One of the participants was a driving instructor and he was very
particular about the photo being a recent, accurate photo of the person
carrying the driving licence.
Overall Feedback after Second User Testing
Despite some of the confusion about the process, the feedback and
understanding of the overall journey was positive. However there were
still some reservations about starting the process due to parts of the
journey not being clear enough.
“It saves the hassle and the time of
having to send forms and take the
pictures and send the form.”
Jonathon, 26
“I really like the whole process to be
honest, but it's about getting me to
do it in the first place.” Sabah, 34
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6. Third Session
In the third round of user testing there were radical changes made
to the design of the DVLA letter, this included changes to both the
content and design.
The letter focused on the importance of renewing the driving
licence, the date to renew and included both online and offline
options for the renewal.
Financial comparisons of renewing online versus offline were also
highlighted i.e. £14 vs £17. A box was added on the letter to
Example of the Final Letter
indicate where users could find an approved location to have their
photograph taken and a web address to allow them to “find my
nearest”. A logo from the PMA was also added in at this point to
allow users to identify an approved location.
Changes were made to the wireframes and a link to “find my
nearest” was added above the “start” button and also a link to
explain more about the service underneath the “start” button.
There were also some changes made to the photo booth to make it
clearer for users where to expect the code to be produced.
In the final round there was also an additional security measure
introduced, asking users to enter their date of birth and first 2
letters of their surname in the booth or the shop. The reason was
to decrease the likelihood of someone retrieving the wrong photo
by accident.
Users felt this made the transaction more secure and understood
the concept as to why it had been put in place. This process did
not negatively impact the user feedback.
Making the overall changes made a significant difference to user
feedback and all participants understood the concept straight away.
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Those who wanted to find their nearest location, used the website
address in the letter and found out where to go. This avoided a
disjointed on/offline service experience.
7. Other Feedback
Respondent’s comments
about privacy and location:
"I would go and get a photo taken. I'd
use the booth in Boots, I don't like the
station as there is always a queue, and
I don't like the idea of being out on a
windy platform, I'd rather just nip into
Boots. It's so much easier" Jane 57
During the process there was some other more general feedback
about the service and user preferences.
Photo Shop or Photo Booth
“They talk to you and help you in
Snappy Snaps. They show you and check
if you like it.” Sabah, 34
There was not a marked difference between the percentages of users
“As long as it’s not miles away” Sabah,
of participants. Generally if users did have a preference for one
who wanted to use the photo shop or photo booth across the sample
method or the other, this was based on familiarity, location and
perceived privacy of one over the other. Users tended to have a
predefined preference to visit their local photo shop or booth, and
that this would likely be one they had visited before.
Respondent’s comments
about retrieving the code:
Offering information about the location and privacy rating of the
“Needs to be clearer where the code
comes from. Not everyone carries
phones or pens. I might have walked off
without the code.” Sabah, 34
making the choice that they would feel most comfortable with.
“I'd be reassured if I had an email or a
text message.” Kevin, 54
shop or booth in the search results may be useful to assist users in
Retrieving the code
Some participants liked the idea of a text or an email sent with their
code, rather than just the print out. However, others thought it was
more secure to print it, as it was less likely to get lost or intercepted.
Users were not tested entering their phone number or email in the
booth or at the shop.
Existing Photograph or New?
Users were presented with the option to use their photograph from
their passport or have a photograph taken at a photo booth or photo
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Respondent’s comments
about existing or new
“I’ve taken the kids photos for Oyster, I
want to be able to take one” Emma, 35
“Wouldn’t it be easier to just take a
photo with the webcam?...Why can’t
my wife just take my photo with the
digital camera” Steve, 58
“I guess it will be a waste of people’s
time, people will send in wacky photos
of themselves and they’d need to do it
again” Steve, 58
“He said it would pass and he knows
what he is doing” Chris, 32
“I know people who have sent their
application in and it’s been rejected
(because of the photograph), so it costs
more money to have to re-send it”
Robert, 33
“It’s difficult as you're not supposed to
smile, no expression on the face, it
looks a bit unreal as usually it's an
occasion and I ended up picking the
best of a bad bunch and it's a pretty
dreadful photo but it's a passport
photo. I look pretty silly” Steve, 58
“I'm not happy with the current picture
(on my ID), I'd want something
different, I look a bit young in the
photo and it looks like I'm really young
so maybe fraudulent.” Jonathon, 26
Respondent’s comments
about privacy:
“I don’t like getting photos taken in
that kind of environment (photo shop),
I made a joke of it but I didn't like it.
I'd rather take it at home. And take a
100 photos.” Emma, 35
There was a mix of reactions from users about where they wanted to
have their photograph taken and the reasons why.
Some users asked why there wasn’t an option to take a photograph
themselves, whilst others stated they would have concerns about
being able to take a compliant photograph. Some were happy to use
their existing passport photograph, while others didn’t like their
passport photograph and wanted a new one.
This indicates a wide range of user preferences when it comes to
having photographs taken, and shows that user choice would aid the
user journey.
Privacy and Security
Privacy and security were important and some users stated they
would like to see improvements in this area. Some users stated they
felt the shop experience wasn’t private enough for them and would
have preferred a curtain they could have their picture taken behind.
Some participants stated they thought this process (as opposed to a
manual paper based one) would be a secure way of transferring the
information to government to prove who they were; it was thought
this would prevent fraud.
With the exception of one participant, all users were comfortable
with the thought that the photograph rested with “the government”
Respondent’s comments
about trust:
or “DVLA”.
“Special system that wired your photo
direct to the DVLA’ and that saved the
angst of cutting it and sending it to the
DVLA’.” Jane, 57
The fact the photograph turned up in the DVLA application was
“What calms me down is it's a
government website, I shouldn't feel I
should be victimised because of this. I
don't have anything to hide so I'm not
cautious or paranoid.” Jonathon, 26
“<The photo is>… with the DVLA in the
process of being turned into my new
driving licence. I have no privacy
concerns as it’s the DVLA website.”
Asima, 27
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very powerful, users were pleased that it has arrived at the correct
destination. Some users made reference to having confidence in the
PMA logo or “kitemark”. It was not tested whether this was because
it appeared to be linked to a government transaction or because it
was presented as a quasi-‘kitemark’. The presence of a logo to look
out for might help.
Perceived Value
Respondent’s comments
about perceived value:
During the process it became apparent to some users that the
“Make it something that people with
less money can go through this
rigmarole to save themselves money”
Jackie, 58
question the price of the photographs. In the users’ minds it is not
physical photographs might not be required. This led them to
the process of the photograph being taken which is the value but the
end product, which they felt now may no longer be required.
“You have to get 4 photos and you end
up losing the other photos” Emma, 35
“I'd put them away and keep them for a
rainy day” Robert, 33
“I've got about 4 lots that are tucked in
an envelope. It's a question of hoarding
them for use for other identities.”
Jane, 57
“You’re still going to have to pay the
same amount of money, you may as
well have the photos” Jackie, 58
In addition to this, the requirements of a compliant photograph i.e.
not being able to smile meant a lower value was placed on the
photographs because users wouldn’t necessarily share them with
A smaller number of users still felt there might be some value in
having the photographs if they were going to pay the same amount
of money for them.
Respondent’s comments
about re-use:
“I want to renew my freedom pass, can
I use that code to access and transfer
it? I’d think I can use it for my ADI
badge, that’s government” Michael, 55
"Make it accessible for more than one
thing/ across the board, accessible for
passports as well as driving licence. If I
can use it for both I'd be prepared to
pay for that.” Emma. 35
“It doesn't have to be a one off you can
use it for the next how many years
unless a big change in your visual
appearance. Makes the trip (to get your
photo taken) multi-purpose, you aren't
just doing it for the driving licence you
can use it for the next so many years”
Kevin, 54
Some users had an expectation about reuse of the photograph after
finishing the driving licence application. Other applications
mentioned included passport, advanced driving instructor badge,
Freedom Bus Passes, Oyster Card and Visa applications.
“One Stop Shop”
Some participants mentioned their preference to do the whole
transaction in one go and have the photograph taken and driving
licence issued. Whilst the security implications of this would be
insurmountable and therefore the idea is not practical, it does
confirm strong user preferences for convenience and “hassle free”
Respondent’s comments
about one stop shop:
“Can’t the photo booth or the photo
shop do it all?” Sabah, 34
“If you're going to put it in a shop you
need to walk out of the shop and it’s a
one stop shop” Jackie, 58
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8. Input from Organisation Participants
One of the points raised during this project was by HMPO and DVLA. Currently both organisations
complete additional security checks on photographs as they come in through the post with an
application form. These security checks include validating manually that the photograph being
presented for a renewal is the same person as the previous application or identity document issuance.
This process is time consuming and expensive, but necessary for the additional level of security.
One of the other areas explored, as part of this project, was the differing length of time of validity a
photograph has across multiple applications.
For example:
Photograph Validity
31 Days
Driving Licence
None specified
Blue Badge
None specified
Concessionary Bus Pass
None specified
This means that if users were to have a way to re-use a digital photograph it would not necessarily be
clear to them how long it would be valid for and for what applications. This could cause confusion to
the user and dissatisfaction when a photograph was acceptable for one application and not another.
© OIX 2015
9. Principles from Findings
The findings from the project allowed us to put together a set of guiding principles by which we have
drawn the conclusions.
1. The process must be secure. User validation of the photograph means the correct photograph is
attached to the application.
2. The user’s identity should be assured. For government services, GOV.UK Verify is the identity
assurance service
3. The process should be consistent across digital services
4. User should always be in control
5. User should give permission for the service provider to obtain their digital photo from the
photographic service
6. Process should always be transparent to the user who should fully understand what is happening
7. Digital photo should be used only once – however, some users expressed a view that photos
should be kept and be reusable
8. A market for digital photo providers should be supported
9. There will need to be an on-boarding process for digital photo providers and service providers
before they can provide or consume the photo service
© OIX 2015
he following conclusions could be drawn from the project. Whilst the sample size of test
participants was relatively small this gives directional feedback on user preferences.
Users Found the Process Easier and More Convenient
Overall the reaction from users was very positive and the aims of the project were met. Users found
the new DIPSS process simpler and more convenient compared to paper processes.
In this test the majority of users expressed a preference to use this process over paper-based
processes. This response to DIPSS indicates that this could accelerate the move to online
applications. This is encouraging feedback for possible organisations that would like to set up and
provide a digital photo sending service.
How Users Start the Journey is Critical
When users move from an offline process into an online process the way in which users understand
the process at the start reflects how, if and when they finish the online journey.
The project shows that relatively small changes in design of letter and subsequent online screens can
make huge changes to a user understanding of a journey, and their experience. There is a direct
correlation between how the initial call to action (in this case a letter) is understood and how positive
the user feels about the journey at the end.
Choice is Important to Users
Users expressed a need for choice in a number of areas. Through preference of where they would like
to get their photograph taken (photo shop or booth, passport photo or taking the photograph
himself or herself) and options on how to get the code; email or text, or immediate print out.
Some users expressed a desire to use their own ‘selfie’ photos, but some recognised the security/
compliance implications associated with selfies, e.g. tampering, manipulation, fraud, recency/age
© OIX 2015
Providing users with multiple ways to perform a task will likely result in an increase in uptake because
users can pick the option that suits them best.
Users Wanted to Reuse the Photograph
Users identified that having the image available to be used multiple times in both digital and paper
format would be beneficial for them.
If there were a digital way in which users could reuse a photograph there are some considerations in
relation to the commercials of that reuse, at the moment users only pay once. There would also need
to be discussion around how to communicate the different standards for photographs to users so
they would know how, when and where they could reuse their digital photograph.
Users Perception of Value
Examples of industries that have had similar challenges are the music industry with the advent of
iTunes and music streaming vs people buying CD’s.
Users appeared to think that the value of the image was in the physical photograph rather than the
process used. As the photo industry sets up a service delivery of this kind, consideration would need
to be given to the perceived value for users in a digital context. To transition in this direction users
may need to receive the physical copy of the photographs.
Users perceived value in the assurance that their photograph submitted through this service would be
compliant and that they wouldn’t have to return to have another photograph taken.
Users “Trust” Government
The service used in this trial was provided by private sector companies. However the photographs
were sent directly to government, in this case DVLA. Users took comfort that their photograph
resided with government, stating they trusted government with their information.
© OIX 2015
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