O Danny Blog Entries  

UX Week 2006: Architecting Government Websites for UX Notes

Leo Mullen, Natalie Buda, Cindy Blue of NavigationArts

Social and economic value of getting UX right is getting more profound every day. It's priceless.

Optimization through centers of excellence: strategy, research, IA, UXD, technical implementation.

Companies thinking about the web has changed radically over the last 10 years. Now there is the recognition that the web has become the software platform of choice. Almost all big companies are investing heavily in the web. If the web is down, their business is down.

What have we learned with companies that can be applied to government? User experience really matters. Begin with the users, don't put it at the end of the line. UX is critical to building trust in any branded entity.

How can we take the best practices of the for-profit world to the government world? US Governemnt will spend $64 billion on IT. Much of the money is aimed at government simpler and more accessible, especially in self-service environments. Get info from the government or supply it to the government.

Why is it so difficult to create the types of experiences that users now expect? The experience still lags! Most people have elevated expectations as to what the web can do., because they interact with some of the best sites on the web. Those sites have relentlessly honed their sites. Powerful web economics have forced the web into this. In the government world, it doesn't work like this, although the same people are served by this.

Many organizations fail to deploy good UX because of internal team organization--too many owners (sales, customer service, marketing, IT, etc.) each with a different goals and issues. There is fractured ownership.

The larger the scale and scope of a web effort, the more likely it is to fail: "boiling the ocean." Web needs more tactical approach: iterate, test, launch. Iterate, test launch. You can only address one or two things at a time. Conflicting priorities are the problem. Took the top 50 priorities for a site, then threw out the bottom 47!

Many organizations do not align their sites with the needs and goals of their users. Don't deploy an inward-facing site. Users don't care about how you structure your business. Invest time and energy in understanding your users.

Most users want to spend as little time on your web environment as possible! Need to simplify and shorten interactions.

Half a trillion dollars has been investing in IT in the US. Vast majority have no good user experience at all. Now there are more links into these legacy systems and users keep bumping into them. Huge defection rates, huge abandonments. Web Translation Layers: allows people to interact with those systems without users having to know about it.

Common Themes with Government Clients
Government agencies often produce and display information by how they create it and how they are organized. Need to allocate time to educate the stakeholders, especially the sponsor.

Government websites have to be accountable to many diverse audiences and comply with federal regulations. Need to understand what are the common goals of the users? Use current web standards to display different versions for different audiences.

Goverment agencies are held to fiscal years. Structure your projects to deliver at the end of the fiscal year.

Strong political hierarchies with independent divisions. Education, advisory boards, and group meetings are a must.

Political priorities. Websites can be affected by election cycles. Focus on the long-term goals.

Amount of information. Thousands or millions of pages possible. Need to establish a scalable system.

Need to establish policies and procedures that preserve the user-centric nature of the site.

Secure ownership by high-ranking official.
Increase project time to include stakeholder buy-in and education.
Develop a plan that takes into consideration the fiscal cycles.
Share and advocate for UCD at every opportunity.

Originally posted at Monday, August 14, 2006 | Comments (0)

Previous Entry
UX Week 2006: Creative Production Notes
Chris Conley, Gravity Tank, IIT Professor We've lost the art of how to work together. We've lost this in a profound sense, especially to organizations. We need a new way of working: creative production. Peter Drucker: "Profit is only... ...

Recent Entries
New Book: Designing Gestural Interfaces

An Interaction Designer's Thanksgiving

Missing Britpop

Presentation: Gaming the Web: Using the Structure of Games to Design Better Web Apps

Connecting07: Rethinking Product Design: Why We Can't Wait

Connecting07: Medical Device Design: 10 Things You Need to Know

Connecting07: Brand, Design, and the Brain

An Open Letter to the Producers of the new Bionic Woman

Review: The Reflective Practitioner (Part IV)

Presentations on Slideshare

November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
  O Danny Boy is About Me, Dan Saffer, and has my Portfolio, Resumé, Blog, and some Extras. It also has the blog I kept of my graduate studies and ways to Contact Me.  
  Blog RSS Feeds
Blog Excerpts
Full Entries
Design Entries Only
Atom Feed