Creating Great Government Portals March 15 2010 Simon Herd Partner of
Can we really learn from each other? <ul><li>Countries are different </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul...
<ul><li>1. Understand who the portal is for </li></ul>
1. Understanding who the portal is for
1. Understand who the portal is for <ul><li>It’s a government website, it needs to be for everyone </li></ul><ul><li>But d...
<ul><li>2. Exercise effective control over the home page </li></ul>
2. Exercise effective control over the home page
2. Exercise effective control over the home page <ul><li>Provide users with a clear sense of what is available within the ...
<ul><li>3. Design the Information Architecture around user needs </li></ul>
3. Design the IA around user needs
3 Design IA around user needs <ul><li>Focus on what users want not government structure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Users often ...
<ul><li>4. Get a good search </li></ul>
4. Get a good search
4. Get a good search <ul><li>Spend time designing a good search feature </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Government sites are potenti...
<ul><li>5. Keep users well orientated </li></ul>
5. Keep users well orientated
5. Keep users well orientated <ul><li>Most users are likely to come to a site via a web search not the home page </li></ul...
<ul><li>6. Be authoritative </li></ul>
6. Be authoritative <ul><li>It needs to look like a government websites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use a relevant portal name <...
<ul><li>7. Content style matters </li></ul>
7. Content style matters
7. Content style matters <ul><li>Design content for scanning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Users don’t read word-for word and tend...
<ul><li>8. You can look modern </li></ul>
8. You can look modern
8. You can look modern <ul><li>Users don’t come to government websites for entertainment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For most go...
<ul><li>9. Make sure users know you exist </li></ul>
9. Make sure users know you exist <ul><li>E-Government can be a wonderful thing, but people need to know about it </li></u...
<ul><li>10. Get effective user experience input to you project </li></ul>
10. Get effective UX input to your project  <ul><li>Have one person take major decisions on portal user experience </li></...
Summary <ul><li>Understand who the portal is for </li></ul><ul><li>Exercise effective control over the home page </li></ul...
Sites to look at <ul><ul><li>www.usability.gov  – US government website to guidance on developing usable and useful govern...
Contact details <ul><li>Simon Herd </li></ul><ul><li>Managing Consultant </li></ul><ul><li>ExperienceLab </li></ul><ul><li...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Great Govt Portals Simon Herd

662 views

Published on

First presented at the UX Masterclass in Auckland, New Zealand on March 15th 2010 (a UXalliance event). Simon provides design guidance for creating government portals that prioritise the citizens needs and experience.

Published in: Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
662
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
2
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
9
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Hello, Im Simon Herd, a Managing Consultant at ExperienceLab in London.. ExperienceLab have been around over 40 years and I oversea the govt sector as well as our international work – last year we did over 30 govt projects within the broader UK E-Government Programme, which is consolodating UK govt websites, focusing down on 3 main portals, citizen, business, health Aim is to share some of the factors that are important in creating a great govt portal. Both specific to govt and also factors important in any website Can I ask (if don’t know already) Roles of audience All NZ? Exposure to UCD?
  • Key question is can we learn from each other about what makes a government portal work? No two governments are the same But we are moving in similar directions A top level view, happy to expand on these in questions at end or during day
  • Before thinking about design its important to think about context
  • Before thinking about design its important to think about context, who the portal is for, and what its going to be used for This is a nice example of what we used to see a lot of, but which is declining This is the official portal of Kuwait (the arabic version is the same expect for right to left orientation) Its primarily focused on the leader (shiek al Sabah), and government structure. Its symptomatic of what we see when govts focus on telling everybody about themselves rather than what everybody needs from govt – Sections about the Minister, and his vision are examples of this
  • persona without a focus it is very difficult to raise above your own opinions, developing a persona (a snapshot of the user) is a useful means of keeping their attributes and needs in mind putting these assumptions down really, typically the biggest erroneous assumption we see is users will come to the site remember how it works next time, govt sites are likely to be used very occasionally, (unlike a news website), which means that things need to be more obvious Scenarios don’t just publish content you have use what your personas need as a starting point for deciding what is necessary. Develop scenarios Focus on who site is for They don’t even know they’ve been on it If doing site review, think of a persona eg male, late 50’s with basic level web skills, glasses, familiar with main govt depts, but gets confused beyond that etc
  • It’s the main point of entry to the portal
  • The UK Govt is focusing on 3 websites and has closed over 900 separate sites Govt website home pages inherently have a high demand
  • Home page is the primary point of entry so is much in demand It needs to provide a clear sense of portal content (more to come) Particular control needs to be exercise over it. We often see the latest project coming through keen to get a prominent place on the home page, with so many stakeholders its essentially that one person, with a clear sense of overall portal needs and underlying strategy, acts as the gatekeeper It is also important to surface the most important.commonly used content
  • This is the Norwegain portal, one of the most highly rated E-Govt protals, notice the lack of mention of any govt departments, using user focused topics instead
  • Life events eg Going to school, starting a job are a useful way of thinking and commonly used, but not the whole story, as important govt content ofte doesn’t fit within a single event, so a mixed approach best Card sorts are good, but require careful handling Any portal is unlkely to entirely replace existing sites, so they will come to a point in the IA where they need to link to another site
  • Check time available, but it woul dbe nice to involve everyone in a review of portals for the persona and task identified
  • A good search is very important, the USA.gov search is a good one
  • Key message – search is important and users base expectations on web search, pay attention to it Need tosay who they are and what they do – don’t understand consituents of govt and what the implications
  • The favourite search engine is the most likely point of entry to a website
  • Key message – ensure nav structure/IA extensible and continue to reevaluabte
  • Key message – keep content under review as it must be up to da
  • Potential problem for govt which may have off line content
  • Key message – content is wasted if users dont know about it Of particular importance wher eno phsyciual entitlty or contact via other means
  • Key message – making one person responsible for it makes it more likely it will happen bridge between internal and end user Example of stakeholders – moving transport content to Business link portal involves ministry of Transport, Highways agency, DVLA, DSA, VOSA, etc, RHA, unions
  • Great Govt Portals Simon Herd

    1. 1. Creating Great Government Portals March 15 2010 Simon Herd Partner of
    2. 2. Can we really learn from each other? <ul><li>Countries are different </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structure/coverage of government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. national v state v local, variable roles in health and state industries </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resources available and level of technology maturity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But we’re going in similar directions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Global move towards E-Government and focus on creating government portals and e-services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Citizen expectations of E-Gov’t are increasing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>See UN E-Government Survey 2010 – out soon </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We’re all people, some basic precepts of psychology and interaction with technology persist </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Today we’ll look at 10 areas which we do see making a difference out there </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>1. Understand who the portal is for </li></ul>
    4. 4. 1. Understanding who the portal is for
    5. 5. 1. Understand who the portal is for <ul><li>It’s a government website, it needs to be for everyone </li></ul><ul><li>But designing for everyone invariably ends up as design for yourself </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop personas for the most important audience helps focus the design and challenge team assumptions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Think about the purpose of the site and who is most likely to benefit from it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Different government sites have different focus </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be careful about overestimating the place of the website in their lives and making assumptions about return visits </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Focus on what they need from the portal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There can be a temptation to publish the content available have rather than what people want, making it harder to find what is useful </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It also shouldn’t be technology-led </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Lets do an iPhone app” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop realistic scenarios and remember, new users are highly likely! </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. <ul><li>2. Exercise effective control over the home page </li></ul>
    7. 7. 2. Exercise effective control over the home page
    8. 8. 2. Exercise effective control over the home page <ul><li>Provide users with a clear sense of what is available within the portal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They won’t know if you don’t tell them </li></ul></ul><ul><li>There is high demand for space on portal home pages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be careful of the latest project taking priority over fundamental needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Somebody with a view of overall strategy must control what is displayed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Surface important/recurring content that needs to be found quickly </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Just focusing on logical structure isn’t helpful </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work out the most popular content from web stats </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide rapid access to these in a high-level Do it online section </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. <ul><li>3. Design the Information Architecture around user needs </li></ul>
    10. 10. 3. Design the IA around user needs
    11. 11. 3 Design IA around user needs <ul><li>Focus on what users want not government structure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Users often don’t understand which parts of government are responsible for their area of interest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Government structure also evolves over time </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Life-events are widely used, but don’t do it all </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Some needs are ongoing, so don’t fit in set piece events e.g. paying tax </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A multi-faceted approach can help e.g. Life event within topic </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Involve users in the IA definition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Card sorting is useful to identify an understandable structure and labels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>But it can be difficult to conduct with large structures and results need careful handling </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Alternative – Use a good Information Architect to create it and validate it with users </li></ul></ul></ul>
    12. 12. <ul><li>4. Get a good search </li></ul>
    13. 13. 4. Get a good search
    14. 14. 4. Get a good search <ul><li>Spend time designing a good search feature </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Government sites are potentially more diverse and involve deeper structures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search should feature prominently throughout the portal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It should behave like the most commonly used web search engines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search results should provide enough contextual information about the destination content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Especially where other government sites are linked to </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Indicate the type of content found </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. guide, summary, online process </li></ul></ul></ul>
    15. 15. <ul><li>5. Keep users well orientated </li></ul>
    16. 16. 5. Keep users well orientated
    17. 17. 5. Keep users well orientated <ul><li>Most users are likely to come to a site via a web search not the home page </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Engage in search engine optimisation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide good orientation at lower-levels of the site </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ensure the Information Architecture/navigation structure can accommodate growth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allow additional layers of navigation to be supported and signpost lower-level content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Links are not enough, sub headings and supporting text are useful </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep the structure under review </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Keep users orientated when moving between portal and related sites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Link to the optimum page and provide a thread of continuity between sites </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. <ul><li>6. Be authoritative </li></ul>
    19. 19. 6. Be authoritative <ul><li>It needs to look like a government websites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use a relevant portal name </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>UKOnline became DirectGov </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If they don’t know where content is from, they suspect motives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Logos are really really important, people don’t read, but often recognise logos </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Users need to trust government websites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They expect it to be the ultimate authority and may be making big decisions based on what they see </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Out of date content undermines user opinions of the site and adds to website noise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Purge what is redundant </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. <ul><li>7. Content style matters </li></ul>
    21. 21. 7. Content style matters
    22. 22. 7. Content style matters <ul><li>Design content for scanning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Users don’t read word-for word and tend to overlook large blocks of text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use short paragraphs, white space, sub headings and a concise style to aid scanning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use white space to draw the eye to important content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use consistent page templates so users know where to look when they access a page </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Be careful of jargon </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It isn’t always understood by a wider audience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Abbreviations can be helpful, but they shouldn’t be relied on </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They don’t know what they mean or assume another meaning </li></ul></ul></ul>
    23. 23. <ul><li>8. You can look modern </li></ul>
    24. 24. 8. You can look modern
    25. 25. 8. You can look modern <ul><li>Users don’t come to government websites for entertainment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For most government content, design needs to be clear and focused on the information rather than being graphically-led </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But they value a modern approach which has higher design principles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Opinions of quality are driven by all sites they visit, so it must look professional to be credible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More graphically-led content may be appropriate for particular circumstances </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. online training or tourism </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We are detecting a subtle shift towards more desire for engagement </li></ul></ul>
    26. 26. <ul><li>9. Make sure users know you exist </li></ul>
    27. 27. 9. Make sure users know you exist <ul><li>E-Government can be a wonderful thing, but people need to know about it </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Investment in a new e-service is wasted if people don’t know </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Signpost it from existing websites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make potential users aware via alternative channels e.g. Posters in Driving Centres for content aimed at driving instructors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember, an e-service may be threatening somebody’s job or way of working </li></ul></ul>
    28. 28. <ul><li>10. Get effective user experience input to you project </li></ul>
    29. 29. 10. Get effective UX input to your project <ul><li>Have one person take major decisions on portal user experience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual projects can also loose sight of the bigger picture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Diverse stakeholders involved in decision making </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Overall user experience may not be their priority </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>User input helps decision making at key stages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gov’t projects can have many diverse stakeholders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>All with a particular focus, expertise and perception of constraint in a project </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It’s easy to argue with each other, but seeing the same user input gives a common focus, understanding of priorities and issues, making it easier to get things done </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Make sure stakeholders are fully signed up </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They will have useful contributions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If they don’t like the results and they are not signed up to it, they may look for methodology weakness </li></ul></ul>
    30. 30. Summary <ul><li>Understand who the portal is for </li></ul><ul><li>Exercise effective control over the home page </li></ul><ul><li>Design the IA around user needs </li></ul><ul><li>Get a good search </li></ul><ul><li>Keep users well orientated </li></ul><ul><li>Be authoritative </li></ul><ul><li>Content style matters </li></ul><ul><li>You can look modern </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure your users know you exist </li></ul><ul><li>Get effective UX input to your project </li></ul>
    31. 31. Sites to look at <ul><ul><li>www.usability.gov – US government website to guidance on developing usable and useful government websites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personas – Alan Cooper http://www.cooper.com/, snitker http://www.snitker.com/default.asp?id={43228245-BE33-46AE-B9F1-4E2C61BBD779 } </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Critique of Directgov (UK) - http://directgov.consumerfocuslabs.org </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>UN E-Government Survey (2010 survey out soon) http://www.unpan.org/egovernment.asp </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>UK Central Office of Information Usability Toolkit - http://usability.coi.gov.uk/ </li></ul></ul>
    32. 32. Contact details <ul><li>Simon Herd </li></ul><ul><li>Managing Consultant </li></ul><ul><li>ExperienceLab </li></ul><ul><li>+44 (0)20 7421 6491 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>Thank you

    ×