Discovery & Alpha


How we can help

Often our Clients are at the outset of their digital transformation journey and what they need is solid evidence to inform sure footed next steps. They achieve this by conducting Discovery & Alpha projects that focus on engaging stakeholders in the design process, surfacing technical issues and combining data sources.

This can be a daunting task, particularly when our target service users are from the most difficult to reach socio-economic groups and our target outcomes are defined at the national, strategic level. If your project has to comply with relevant Digital Service Standards you may also be required to meet Minimum Evidence Framework requirements which are subject to stage gate reviews and potential delays.

For many of our clients, this may be the first, or only time they are involved delivering against this framework.

Ember has fully adopted the principles of the Digital Service Standard and we have built our services and internal processes from the ground up to comply with DSS. We will help you understand the process, steer you through practical, efficiently delivery and help you fully realise the benefits of this excellent framework.


Services &

Discovery Plan

We prepare DSS compliant Discovery and User Research plans that ensure you comprehensively and efficiently cover all the bases and meet the requirements of your DSS Assessment level. This includes defining Objectives and Key Results (OKR's), planning to engage target user cohorts, project risks and governance parameters.

Stakeholder Recruitment

Recruitment for user research is typically one of the most challenging aspects of Discovery. We provide turnkey recruitment campaigns including cohort selection, channel and stakeholder comms, consent management, incentivisation and appointment management.

User Needs Research

We engage your users directly in structured interview, co-design and co-creation sessions designed to investigate the needs users have, the perceptions they hold, the barriers they encounter and the outcomes they wish to achieve.

Existing System Audit

Where your project involves the re-development of existing systems, we perform a full audit of search and site traffic analytics, user behaviours and content performance. This is combined with all other Discovery outputs to support improvement recommendations, information architecture, content and data migration strategies.

Technical & Data Discovery

We audit your technical landscape, evaluating the technical ecosystem that your system exists in defining the integration strategies, technical dependencies and risks.

Design Decision Making

We work with you in co-creation to develop objective driven, evidence led, design decisions about, functionalities and content required to support our target user journeys. We identify the high risk/value design hypotheses to be take into Alpha testing.

Alpha Testing

We create disposable prototypes used to test and refine our high risk/value design hypotheses through a series of testing and feedback iterations.

Minimum Evidence Framework

As we progress through Discovery and Alpha we document and catalogue the evidence you require to provide with the Minimum Evidence Framework required for your allocated DSS Assessment Level. We support you through the DSS Triage and Assessment process by ensuring that every design decision is supported by evidence and purposeful logic.

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