How To Create Government Websites That Dont Suck

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This presentation was held on 18 August 2009 at Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce as a breakfast briefing for Government departments.

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Trent Mankelow How to create government websites that dont suck Trent Mankelow How to create government websites that dont suck rock! "Despite promises of dramatic change and continuous innovation early on, ...the public sector today looks much as it did when the Internet began its ascendancy" - United Nations e-Government Survey 2008 64% of public sector organisations expected to spend money on a new/upgraded website in 2008/09. 53% expected to spend money on new/upgraded online services in 2008/09. - Government Use of ICT 2008 We are falling behind We slipped from 19th place in 2007 to 31st in 2008 according to the Global E-Government Report We were 13th in the UN list, now were 18th The Internet should TRANSFORM government The Internet should be the number one channel for government agencies Improve public sector efficiency Convenience and 24 x 7 availability Advance democracy But instead of transforming government, innovation has tended to be small-scale and gradual How to create government websites that rock 01: Create a citizen-centred culture 02: Create an actionable, citizen-centric 03: Improve findability 04: Follow a user-centred design process online strategy 01: Create a citizen-centred culture Currently many government departments have a shared accountability model When something is owned by everybody, it is owned by nobody This model can't help but trend toward mediocrity Competing priorities was the most commonly cited factor restricting the implementation of new ICT in government So don't make it compete Hire a Chief Citizen Officer Reboot culture Values for successful web teams Networking and broad contacts externally and internally Respect for individuals Trust Sharing of ideas and information Sound underlying systems and procedures Continuous learning and development Creativity and innovation 02: Create an actionable, citizen-centric online strategy Know who your users are and what their goals are Stop designing for "all New Zealanders" The trouble is that when you design for everyone, you design for no-one Better websites start with better understanding Conduct basic research to segment and understand your audience One great way to stop designing for all New Zealanders this is to use personas Create a coherent, lightweight online strategy Use a simple process Interview stakeholders Understand your users (user survey, web analytics) In a workshop: Agree your key users and their tasks (based on research) Brainstorm website goals and vision individually and then collate common themes and patterns Brainstorm future initiatives individually and then collate common themes and patterns Firm up goals, provide definitions and ways to measure the goals. Research themes and get other example websites In a workshop: Finalise goals and vision Talk through the initiatives Map the effectiveness of each initiative to achieve each goal Prioritise initiatives based on their effectiveness across all goals Finalise strategy Don't develop the strategy in isolation create a cross-channel strategy 03: Improve findability Finding stuff and get bigger In 2020, the amount of info on the web will double every 72 hours In some government departments, new websites spring up like mushrooms Governments are broken up into competing agencies and jurisdictions Too many sites Citizens shouldn't have to know about the mechanics of government in order to be able to interact with it Remove redundant content, and consolidate sites to make stuff easier to find Fix iGovt Make iGovt seamless 04: Follow a user-centred design process There are real costs when government websites are unusable Website use typically doubles when the site is made easier to use Use ISO13407 Use ISO 13407 Project planning shall allocate time and resources for the human-centred activities. This shall include time for iteration and the incorporation of user feedback, and for evaluating whether the design solution satisfies the user requirements. Relevant user and stakeholder groups shall be identified and their relationship with the proposed development described in terms of key goals and constraints. There are four linked human-centred design activities that shall take place during the design of any interactive system Understand and specify the context of use; Specify the user requirements; Produce design solutions; Evaluate. "Usability standards are likely to have the most influence when cited in commercial contracts....Require a design and development project to carry out activities that conform with ISO 13407 - International Standards for Usability Should Be More Widely Used, Nigel Bevan, Journal of Usability Studies, Volume 4, Issue 3, May 2009, pp. 106-113 Conclusion Success stories The results Original success rate Final success rate Increase Client 38% 74% 36% Provider 44% 69% 25% Business 29% 77% 48% Target increase Actual increase Page views (users) 10% 25% Page views (staff) 10% 32% How to create government websites that rock 01: Create a citizen-centred culture 02: Create an actionable, citizen-centric 03: Improve findability 04: Follow a user-centred design process online strategy It shouldn't be e-Government. It should just be government Thanks Trent Mankelow Optimal Usability [email_address]