Making Government User-Centered: Managing UCD projects to promote change

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Following the successful redesign of a large informational web site, user-centered design (UCD) became the impetus to create a more user-centered organization. We will share strategies for introducing and managing successful UCD projects, identifying and mitigating project risks, and integrating user-centered design into government processes.

Published in: Business, Technology

Making Government User-Centered: Managing UCD projects to promote change

  1. 1. Making Government User-Centered Managing UCD projects to promote change Suzanne Boyd and Emma Rose UPA Conference 2008
  2. 2. Two scenarios about the way that UCD can take hold in organizations Petunia - annual Peony - perennial Peony by flickr user: Mandana Mexican Petunia by flickr user: Scilit
  3. 3. As UCD experts in government you make things usable . . . Rules Web sites & applications Letters
  4. 4. But often changes to the products are fleeting
  5. 5. To make change stick we need more than UCD methods Culture Processes People
  6. 6. How can we create lasting change? Peony by flickr user: Mandana Mexican Petunia by flickr user: Scilit Inspired by the work of John Kotter
  7. 7. Case Study WA Department of Licensing
  8. 8. WA Department of Licensing <ul><li>Licenses each year: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>4.8 million drivers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>6.4 million vehicles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>280,000 vessels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>210,000 professionals </li></ul></ul>E-government – since 1996 Brick-and-mortar offices
  9. 9. Integrated Based on “Usability Maturity Model: Human Centredness Scale by J. Earthy. 1998 Level Organizational Indicators Before UCD Usability maturity Unrecognized We don’t have a problem with usability. Recognized We understand the business benefits of improving usability. Considered We consider user needs and are training staff in UCD techniques. Implemented We involve users throughout all stages of the development process. We integrate UCD into an iterative development process. Institutionalized UCD is fully embedded in our culture and processes.
  10. 10. Before UCD People, process, culture <ul><li>Lack of user data </li></ul><ul><li>No web strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Decisions about the site based on shifting, internal priorities </li></ul><ul><li>Siloed web authoring </li></ul><ul><li>Organic web site growth </li></ul>
  11. 11. Before UCD E-government Online services Separation of applications from content does not make sense for users. News News was prominent. Content is important to agency, but not to users. Org chart information architecture Structure of the site mimics org chart.
  12. 12. After UCD E-government
  13. 13. After UCD People, process, culture <ul><li>Central UCD team, equipment, tools </li></ul><ul><li>Web and usability standards </li></ul><ul><li>UCD redesign of applications </li></ul><ul><li>Integration of UCD into development process </li></ul>Agency strategic goal Provide quality customer services Increase the usability of our web site so users can quickly find the information they need. Develop a web strategy to improve online services
  14. 14. Based on “Usability Maturity Model: Human Centredness Scale by J. Earthy. 1998 Level Organizational Indicators Usability maturity Recognized We understand the business benefits of improving usability. Considered We consider user needs and are training staff in UCD techniques. Implemented We involve users throughout all stages of the development process. Integrated We integrate UCD into an iterative development process. Institutionalized UCD is fully embedded in our culture and processes. Fast forward 2 years Unrecognized We don’t have a problem with usability.
  15. 15. The Journey
  16. 16. Overview <ul><li>Assess readiness </li></ul><ul><li>Develop and communicate a vision </li></ul><ul><li>Establish a sense of urgency </li></ul><ul><li>Change the web site </li></ul><ul><li>Sustain and produce more change </li></ul>
  17. 17. Assess Readiness Backlit by flickr user: quas
  18. 18. Department of Licensing <ul><li>Is there executive support? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there an influential UCD champion? </li></ul><ul><li>How can UCD align with organizational goals? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the current knowledge about UCD? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the organization motivated to change? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there capable and available staff? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there adequate budget? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the timing right? </li></ul>Not ready Ready low high Actions taken to mitigate risks and manage expectations  Buy-in & influence Alignment of UCD Resources & timing    
  19. 19. Develop and communicate a vision There is a fissure in my vision by flickr user: LunaDiRimmell
  20. 20. Develop and communicate a vision Imaginable: What will it look like? Desirable: Why should we do this? Feasible: Is it possible? Focused: How will we do it? Flexible: Will it work for us? Communicable: How will we talk about it?
  21. 21. Create a project plan <ul><li>Creates expectations of </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Duration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intensity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deliverables </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Build in milestones to show progress </li></ul><ul><li>Addresses gaps identified when you assessed readiness </li></ul><ul><li>Define a manageable scope </li></ul>
  22. 22. Communicate the plan Show the scope & phases Phase 1 Phase 2 <ul><li>Publishing system/workflow </li></ul><ul><li>Web applications </li></ul><ul><li>Additional sub sites/section: </li></ul><ul><li>User and task analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Information architecture for sub-site/section </li></ul><ul><li>Content development </li></ul><ul><li>Iterative tests of sub-sites with relevant user types </li></ul><ul><li>Redesign: </li></ul><ul><li>Home page </li></ul><ul><li>Information architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Navigation design </li></ul><ul><li>Layout & interaction design </li></ul><ul><li>Graphic design </li></ul><ul><li>Content rewrite and migration </li></ul>DOL Home
  23. 23. Communicate the plan Develop a memorable visual Show where you are
  24. 24. Align user and business goals Users www.dol.wa.gov DOL’s Goal Users’ needs and goals Positive user experience Accomplish business goals <ul><ul><li>Provide quality customer service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve public safety </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strengthen fiscal and business effectiveness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build a strong workforce together </li></ul></ul>  Oh look! I can renew my tabs online. My car’s registration is about to expire. I’ll have to take a day off work and drive downtown to get it renewed. I’ll check the web site first.
  25. 25. Research and align goals Business goals Improve customer service Reduce administrative costs Improve the efficiency of web authoring process Increase staff knowledge of UCD
  26. 26. Research and align goals User goals Business & business professionals General public Government Legislature State agencies DOL employees People who have a driver’s license People who own a vehicle Consumers People getting their first license Job seekers Troubled drivers (DUI, speeding) Researchers, Media, Students Lawyers Moving in/ out of state People starting a business Banks & financial institutions Professionals licensed by DOL Businesses that do things with vehicles Small businesses < 25 employees
  27. 27. Establish a sense of urgency © Arne Naevra (Norway)
  28. 28. Perform a benchmark study <ul><li>Acts as a wake up call </li></ul><ul><li>Collects baseline data for future comparisons </li></ul><ul><li>Educates about UCD </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate results in a variety of rhetorical ways </li></ul>
  29. 29. Communicating benchmark results <ul><li>Analytical </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional </li></ul><ul><li>Risk averse </li></ul><ul><li>Peer-pressure </li></ul>Use hard data: Success rate: 41% Usability score (SUS): 55 Highlight the users’ voice: Video clips, anecdotes, stories Highlight consequences: Extrapolate time, failure, or dissatisfaction to entire population Compare to other agencies: Data from other agencies or similar organizations
  30. 30. Change the web site Flickr user: sei won’t pay for censorship
  31. 31. Share understanding of users <ul><li>You can do this formally and informally… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Profiles/Personas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Product concept </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brown bags/hallway conversations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stakeholder meetings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Continue to promote the agreement of who you chose to design for </li></ul>Small Business General Public
  32. 32. Iterative design Evaluate Design
  33. 33. Card sort & information architecture
  34. 34. Phone usability study Test information architecture
  35. 35. High fidelity HTML prototype
  36. 36. Branding and visual design
  37. 37. Branding and visual design Each design was evaluated by management Feedback was specific and focused just on branding We analyzed feedback for themes and communicated changes to the designer
  38. 38. <ul><li>Essential activity for success of the redesign </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational commitment to Plain Talk </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create and strengthen relationships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instill a sense of collective ownership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Educate about UCD </li></ul></ul>Meanwhile…. Content development & migration <ul><li>Examine content migration list </li></ul><ul><li>Choose a page to work on </li></ul><ul><li>Review context of the page on the prototype </li></ul><ul><li>Locate existing content </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate existing content </li></ul><ul><li>Edit the content </li></ul><ul><li>Review page </li></ul><ul><li>Publish page to prototype (optional) </li></ul>Reworking a page for the new web site
  39. 39. Tracking content development
  40. 40. Pre-launch usability study Preparing for a successful launch <ul><li>Share the prototype </li></ul><ul><li>Turn concerns into usability issues </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct a pre-launch study </li></ul>
  41. 41. Sustain and produce more change Rainers Pilze by flickr user: public_oberberg
  42. 42. Celebrate <ul><li>Visibly recognize and reward the team </li></ul><ul><li>Build team energy </li></ul><ul><li>Tie success to team work and UCD </li></ul>
  43. 43. Don’t declare victory too soon! Victory by flickr user: sgatto
  44. 44. Measure and communicate success <ul><li>Provide proof for supporters that their commitment was worth it </li></ul><ul><li>Head off cynics and resisters </li></ul><ul><li>Turn people who are neutral into supporters </li></ul><ul><li>Tie success to UCD, not personalities </li></ul>
  45. 45. Analytical Usability metrics Cost savings Support costs 30% Emotional 27.1 82.5 55.4 System usability score 37 Difference 78% 41% Average success rate New site Old site Measure
  46. 46. Analytical Emotional &quot;Outstanding Job, talk about ease of access.  We are truly getting to the place of being a transparent agency.&quot; Staff quotes Awards In fact, the Department of Licensing recently unveiled a new website designed around a common sense, easy to navigate approach, making it easier for businesses to find the information they need, when they need it. Governor’s 2006 Workforce and Economic Development Conference (As Written) Personal endorsements “ easy,” “informative,” “useful,” “logical,” “easy to navigate,” “ user-friendly,” “simple” User voices & video clips
  47. 47. Formalize systems and tools that help sustain change <ul><li>Formalize </li></ul><ul><li>Policy </li></ul><ul><li>Tools </li></ul><ul><li>Processes </li></ul>Web Style Guide Communicate standards. Maintain consistency. Improve publishing efficiency. Web Metrics Software Research usage. Assess site changes. In-house usability lab Conduct studies. Demonstrate ongoing commitment in usability.
  48. 48. Invest in team and training <ul><li>Hire more team members </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1 staff member -> 4 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>First “UI designer” in IS </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Provide training </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conferences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Classes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Writing for the web </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Plain talk </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Team building </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Webinars </li></ul></ul>Webinars Introduce new UCD techniques in a low-risk manner. Encourage exploration. Conferences Expand knowledge. Connect with others. Share stories. Training Get practical, hands-on training that people can apply to the web site right away.
  49. 49. Nurture relationships & build new relationships <ul><li>Internally & externally </li></ul><ul><li>At all levels </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership team </li></ul><ul><li>Customer support </li></ul><ul><li>Programs </li></ul><ul><li>Information Systems </li></ul><ul><li>Other agencies </li></ul>
  50. 50. Set new targets, repeat UCD cycle Renew your tabs online Renew your driver license <ul><li>2009 UCD target </li></ul><ul><li>Redesign 14 flagship applications using UCD </li></ul><ul><li>Develop web application user interface standards </li></ul><ul><li>Cement relationship with IS </li></ul><ul><li>Formalize blended UCD and web application development process </li></ul><ul><li>Deepen organizational commitment to UCD </li></ul>
  51. 51. Government can become User-Centered! <ul><li>Assess readiness </li></ul><ul><li>Establish and communicate a vision </li></ul><ul><li>Create a sense of urgency </li></ul><ul><li>Change the web site </li></ul><ul><li>Sustain and produce more change </li></ul>We have to sow the seeds of change from the moment we start the first UCD project .
  52. 52. Questions & comments <ul><li>Suzanne Boyd </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Emma Rose </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
  53. 53. Additional readings <ul><li>Anderson, R. (2007). Moving UX into a position of corporate influence: Accessible at: http://riander.blogspot.com/2007/04/moving-ux-into-position-of-corporate.html </li></ul><ul><li>Jones, C. (2007). When ROI isn’t enough: Making persuasive cases for user-centered design. Accessible at: http://www.uxmatters.com/MT/archives/000189.php </li></ul><ul><li>King, C. (2007). Effective Communication Practices During Organizational Transformation : A Benchmarking Study of the U.S. Auto Industry and U.S. Naval Aviation. Accessible at: http://www.nps.navy.mil/gsbpp/CDMR/publications.htm </li></ul><ul><li>Kotter, J. (1996). Leading change. Boston, MA: Harvard University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Lientz, B. P. & Rea, K. P. (2004). Breakthrough IT change management: How to get enduring change results . Burlington, MA: Elsevier, Butterworth, Heinman. </li></ul><ul><li>Nielsen, J. (2006). Corporate usability maturity. Accessible at: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/maturity.html </li></ul><ul><li>Earthy, J. (1998) Usability maturity Model: Human Centredness Scale. INUSE. Project deliverable D5.1.4(s). Version 1.2. London, Lloyd’s Register of shipping. </li></ul>

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