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Angling generates over £1 billion for the UK economy, and is a much loved outdoor sport connecting people with nature. Each year the Environment Agency sells fishing licences to around a million customers generating £22 million of income that is re-invested back into the fisheries and the environment across England and Wales.

My role

I was hired in 2016 as an interaction designer on the ‘Buy a rod fishing licence’ service, after the successful launch of the service into public beta I began to look at the end to end user journey for Anglers. As well as buying a rod licence Anglers are also required to comply with a set of complex bylaws and complete returns on any Salmon or Sea trout caught.

During the project I was responsible for:

  • Mapping out the end to end user journey, highlighting touch points with the EA, other agencies and some of the main pain points
  • Working with the fisheries department, bailiffs, marketing teams, call centre staff and anglers to get a clearer understanding of the as is service
Service map

Throughout the process key themes emerged across the service:

  • Trust - Lack of understanding and visibility around the EA, how licence money is spent and what’s being done to improve Angling
  • Transparency - Clearer communication around where licence money is spent, what the EA does and how to be a compliant angler
  • Communication - Mixed messages around compliance and participation
  • Visibility - Lack of visibility for enforcement, maintenance and enhancement of angling
  • Complexity - Complicated rules that vary on location, water and species, as well as complicated internal process around enforcement and licence checks.
Digital service map

Based on these themes ideas for potential further research were developed including:

  • How might we improve the compliance and understanding of angling byelaw’s
  • How might we improve the compliance and understanding of catch returns for Salmon and sea trout anglers
  • How might we improve the bandied interaction for anglers, bailiffs and fisheries staff