The Patient Information Forum (PIF) has published a resource providing an introduction to the most common methods for talking to and involving users in developing your health information materials.
Best practice has identified that involving users at every stage of information development results in more effective health information materials. This means involving users from identifying the need for and purpose of your resource, through developing the format and content, to disseminating and evaluating your materials.
An approach that uses a range of different involvement techniques at different stages, is the best way of getting feedback from wide variety of users at different levels and points within your project.
Planning when and how you will involve users at the start of the project is important. It is also key to agree beforehand the purpose of your user involvement – what questions you want to answer. For example, do you want to co-produce your resource with your users; test understanding of a particular health message; or identify gaps in the current provision of information support?
Listening to, and engaging with, users are both core parts of information provision. User feedback helps you:
- Get to know who the users are
- Better understand their information needs
- Assess what they think of your health information
- Understand the impact of your health information
- Correct problems and make improvements
PIF’s ‘Methods for involving users: an introduction‘ covers the most common methods for talking to and involving users:
- Focus groups
- Online surveys
- Individual interviews
- Informal Feedback
A further resources section at the end of the guide contains links to more detailed information and support.