Helping Tinder Foundation with digital inclusion
Tinder Foundation is a not-for-profit social enterprise that helps people in the community to gain the skills they need to use computers and the internet confidently. They commissioned Qa to gain qualitative insight into a group of low-intensity internet users (called ‘Limited Littles’), namely job seekers whose main internet activity is use of the DWP’s Universal Jobmatch website (UJ).
Who are the ‘Littles’?
The Littles are a category of internet users, of whom there are approximately 9m in the UK. Littles make some use of the internet, but not with the confidence of regular, proficient users. Since November 2012 it has become mandatory for jobseekers to use the UJ, an on-line recruitment service. Tinder wanted to know more about these users because they are considered to be the first large group of digitally excluded people to be affected by a ‘Digital by Default’ Government service, and as such their experience can inform how online government services should be rolled out and supported in the future.
Meeting the ‘Littles’
Qa ran four focus groups at four different locations, each with eight attendees. The focus groups were moderated by an experienced researcher, trained in probing respondents for further explanation and delivering Participatory Appraisal techniques such as Spider diagrams and H diagrams. These methods are all intended to encourage open participation and active involvement.
The general message from participants to DWP/Jobcentres was that more information and help was needed (especially for those who had no previous experience) and fewer sanctions. Volunteer staff at the Jobcentres were required to deal with the Littles but they were not qualified to offer the IT skills required. The research helped to prove the case for Tinder of the need for up-skilling and for digital inclusion.
What the Researcher said
Kay Silversides, Research Manger of Qa said ‘This was quite a demanding project as Tinder required detailed qualitative research to support the quantitative data they already had on the Littles. But through this project we developed our experience in digital literacy and broadened our experience of dealing with vulnerable groups.’
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