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Usability for Government: improving service delivery


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This 'Usability for Government: improving service delivery' was presented at the Local Government Web Network Conference 2008, in Sydney. This presentation highlights the importance of usability and user-centred design and provide practical tips for improving much more than just the look and feel of your website.

Published in: Technology, Design

Usability for Government: improving service delivery

  1. 1. Usability for Government: improving service delivery Ruth Ellison & Adrian Newton Local Government Web Network Conference 2008 22 August 2008
  2. 2. Introduction
  3. 3. <ul><li>People Feel </li></ul>People
  4. 4. <ul><li>Cameron Adams - Web Design: </li></ul><ul><li>Print = visual </li></ul><ul><li>Web = interactive </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction : behaviour : feelings </li></ul>People
  5. 5. People Satisfaction? Relief? Impressed? But probably not happy...
  6. 6. People Confusion Frustration Anger
  7. 7. <ul><li>Brian Hardy- Accessibility: </li></ul><ul><li>” Put the user in control ” </li></ul>People
  8. 8. <ul><li>Involve users in design: </li></ul><ul><li>What do they want? </li></ul><ul><li>How do they want to do it? </li></ul>People
  9. 9. <ul><li>Collaborative design extends beyond the user. </li></ul>Boundaries
  10. 10. <ul><li>Governments: </li></ul><ul><li>Large, conservative bureaucracies </li></ul><ul><li>Hierarchically structured </li></ul><ul><li>Functionally organised </li></ul>Boundaries
  11. 11. <ul><li>Functional silos distance stakeholders from each other </li></ul>Boundaries
  12. 12. <ul><li>Silos reflect functional specialisation. </li></ul>Boundaries
  13. 13. <ul><li>Build synergy through cross-functional teaming. </li></ul>Boundaries
  14. 14. <ul><li>80% of Australians now use the internet </li></ul>Stats from Nielsen Online, March 2008 Boundaries
  15. 15. <ul><li>59% of Australians internet users have contacted Government at least once in the past 12 months </li></ul>Stats from Australians’ use of and satisfaction with e-Government Services 2007, AGIMO December 2008 Boundaries
  16. 16. <ul><li>User expectations are evolving: </li></ul><ul><li>61% locality based information online </li></ul><ul><li>60% ask/answer questions by email </li></ul><ul><li>29% live chat while browsing </li></ul><ul><li>27% personalise government sites </li></ul><ul><li>11% access services by mobile </li></ul>Boundaries Source: Demographic Profiling of Victorian Government Website Visitors 2007
  17. 17. <ul><li>” Culture is cultivated behaviour ” </li></ul><ul><li>Texas A&M University </li></ul><ul><li>Cultivate behaviour by transmitting experience through learning </li></ul>Culture
  18. 18. <ul><li>Adapt approach: </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate </li></ul><ul><li>Iterate </li></ul>Culture
  19. 19. <ul><li>Joanna Lewis – IA </li></ul><ul><li>” It’s not about Town Hall... ” </li></ul><ul><li>Adapt your services by engaging your users. </li></ul>Culture
  20. 20. <ul><li>Embed usability. </li></ul>Culture
  21. 21. What is usability?
  22. 22. I'm as confused about this intersection as that sign is.... By sweeneytoad from Available under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license
  23. 23. Hmmm... By aturkus from Available under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license
  24. 24. Red route - Road signs on my way to work by Gaetan Lee from Available under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license
  25. 25. <ul><li>“ Usability really just means making sure that something works well ”   </li></ul><ul><li>Steve Krug </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>Lets take a look at paying rates via the internet </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>Meet Jenny </li></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>Wants to pay her rates online </li></ul>
  29. 29. <ul><li>Needs to create an account before she can pay her rates </li></ul>
  30. 30. <ul><li>Interrupted by baby Lachlan </li></ul>
  31. 31. <ul><li>Pick Sam from school </li></ul>
  32. 32. <ul><li>It’s not that simple </li></ul>
  33. 33. It’s more than just a simple function It’s now about people
  34. 34. <ul><li>Time is precious </li></ul>
  35. 35. <ul><li>Time is money </li></ul>
  36. 36. What type of user experience do you want your residents to have?
  37. 37. We need to design effective and holistic user experiences
  38. 38. <ul><li>“ Design is not decoration ” </li></ul><ul><li>Garr Reynolds </li></ul>
  39. 39. <ul><li>Consider the user experience right from the beginning </li></ul>
  40. 40. <ul><li>Take a user centred approach </li></ul>
  41. 42. Research
  42. 43. Flip-flops by theogeo from Available under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license
  43. 44. Who are your users? Flip-flops by Joe Shlabotnik from Available under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license
  44. 45. <ul><li>Many different techniques </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand the business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand the users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand the content </li></ul></ul>
  45. 46. <ul><li>Understanding the business </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stakeholder interviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Requirements analysis </li></ul></ul>
  46. 47. <ul><li>Understanding the users </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contextual enquiry </li></ul></ul>Mom’s desktop.. By striatic aturkus from Available under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license
  47. 48. <ul><li>Understanding </li></ul><ul><li>the users </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Surveys </li></ul></ul>
  48. 49. <ul><li>Archetypes that represent the main user groups of a site </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding the users </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personas </li></ul></ul>Mark Personal information Age: 20 Location: Sydney suburbs Access internet: from home and uni Internet usage: daily Background Mark is a full time student at Uni of NSW. He’s studying journalism and is particularly interested in citizen generated media. He uses the internet on a daily basis and keeps up with his friends via social networking sites such as Facebook. He lives in a sharehouse with two other people.
  49. 50. <ul><li>Short story about a user interacting with a site </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding the users </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scenarios </li></ul></ul>Ordering a new bin Mark is a full time student at Uni of NSW studying journalism . He lives in a sharehouse with two other friends. Mark recently discovered that their rubbish bin was damaged. As it is nearly bin collection day, he and his housemates need to organise for a new bin.
  50. 51. <ul><li>“ A mind-numbingly detailed odyssey through your web site ” </li></ul><ul><li>Jeffrey Veen </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding the content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Content audit </li></ul></ul>
  51. 52. User Goals Business Goals What users want to achieve by using your website What the business wants to achieve by releasing the website Designing with users
  52. 53. Design
  53. 55. Card sorting Designing with users
  54. 56. <ul><li>Example only </li></ul>
  55. 57. Wireframes Designing with users
  56. 58. Visual treatment
  57. 59. Evaluate
  58. 60. <ul><li>“ Fortune 1000 companies each spend an average of $2 million per year on site redesigns, without knowing if the redesign made the site easier to use. ” Forrester Research </li></ul>
  59. 61. <ul><li>Evaluation techniques </li></ul><ul><li>Expert review </li></ul><ul><li>Usability testing – formal & guerrilla </li></ul><ul><li>Standards checking </li></ul>
  60. 62. <ul><li>Review design against industry standards, heuristics and current research </li></ul><ul><li>Examples from Jakob Nielsen: </li></ul><ul><li>Error prevention </li></ul><ul><li>Consistency & standards </li></ul><ul><li>Match between system and the real world </li></ul>Evaluating - Expert review
  61. 63. Evaluating – Usability testing
  62. 64. Evaluating – Standards checking
  63. 65. 10 tips to take away
  64. 66. <ul><li>Tip #1 </li></ul><ul><li>Think about who your users are </li></ul>
  65. 67. <ul><li>“ Know thy user, and you are not thy user ” </li></ul><ul><li>Society for Technical Communication </li></ul>
  66. 68. <ul><li>People aren’t going to your website to be entertained </li></ul>
  67. 69. <ul><li>People are task focussed </li></ul>
  68. 70. <ul><li>Tip #2 </li></ul><ul><li>Think about how they find information on your site </li></ul>
  69. 71. <ul><li>4 types of information seeking behaviour* </li></ul><ul><li>Known item </li></ul><ul><li>Exploratory </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t know what you need to know </li></ul><ul><li>Re-finding </li></ul>* Refer to Donna (Maurer) Spencer’s excellent article:
  70. 72. <ul><li>Tip #3 </li></ul><ul><li>Get users involved early in the design process </li></ul>
  71. 73. <ul><li>Tip #4 </li></ul><ul><li>Usability testing doesn’t have to be expensive </li></ul><ul><li>(or usability testing on a shoestring) </li></ul>
  72. 74. <ul><li>Guerrilla usability testing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Need a room </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mock-ups of the design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set some realistic tasks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Observe </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Analyse </li></ul></ul>
  73. 75. <ul><li>Tip #5 </li></ul><ul><li>Content is key! </li></ul>
  74. 76. <ul><li>“ 5% of your website delivers 25% of value ” </li></ul><ul><li>Gerry McGovern </li></ul>Giraffe - Kruger National Park by Yogi from Available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license
  75. 77. <ul><li>Tip #6 </li></ul><ul><li>Consider how offline communications complement the online world </li></ul>
  76. 78. <ul><li>Example Case Study from </li></ul>
  77. 79. <ul><li>Tip #7 </li></ul><ul><li>Always let your user know where they are and what to expect </li></ul> This way
  78. 80. <ul><li>Tip #8 </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it simple </li></ul>
  79. 81. <ul><li>Tip #9 </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t skip the research </li></ul>
  80. 82. <ul><li>Tip #10 </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated approach to accessibility and usability right from the start </li></ul>
  81. 84. Questions?
  82. 85. Need more info? <ul><li>Adrian Newton – General Manager </li></ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Phone: 02 8021 8699 </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile: 0413 875 325 </li></ul><ul><li>Ruth Ellison – Senior Consultant </li></ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Phone: 02 6280 7834 </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile: 0423 763 314 </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: @ruthellison </li></ul><ul><li>Find us at </li></ul>