When a public administration enterprise meets its citizens: changing perspectives, creating new tools


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Presentation for IA Summit 2007, Las Vegas

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When a public administration enterprise meets its citizens: changing perspectives, creating new tools

  1. 1. Maria Cristina Lavazza, Andrea Fiacchi <ul><li>When a public administration enterprise meets its citizens: changing perspectives, creating new tools </li></ul>Las Vegas, March 2007
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>THE KICK START </li></ul><ul><li>(5 min.) </li></ul><ul><li>Communication challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Up to our clients </li></ul><ul><li>INTRO AND GOAL </li></ul><ul><li>(5 min.) </li></ul><ul><li>Main idea </li></ul><ul><li>What do we want to achieve </li></ul><ul><li>Who we are </li></ul><ul><li>OUR PROJECT </li></ul><ul><li>(15 min.) </li></ul><ul><li>Multidimensional navigation </li></ul><ul><li>Search tools: the users language </li></ul><ul><li>OUR CHALLENGES </li></ul><ul><li>(10 min.) </li></ul><ul><li>The new website </li></ul><ul><li>First usability test </li></ul><ul><li>Next steps </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Intro and goal </li></ul>
  4. 4. Main idea Move from a hierarchical architecture to a multidimensional one Listen to the users requests for a better findability of the information Give the same importance to our viewpoint and his freedom of choice Filling the gap between a public administration enterprise and its clients
  5. 5. What do we want to achieve our clients could find the information they needed the information could be find in an easy and more quickly way the user is the king and we work for him Design a completely new website
  6. 6. What is Sviluppo Italia <ul><li>Sviluppo Italia is a government public company set up in order to stimulate Italy’s productive and business development and improve the country’s competitiveness. </li></ul>business creation and development economic support for depressed areas of the country foreign investments in Italy It was created in 1999 through the fusion of 6 public companies . It operates a series of financial incentives and support schemes that promote:
  7. 7. <ul><li>The kick start </li></ul>
  8. 8. Why is it so difficult to be friendly? <ul><li>Communications problems we have had to face up to and somehow reconcile every time we have created a new portal: </li></ul>an extremely miscellaneous target public (the young, the unemployed, male and female, small and medium enterprises, etc) the offer of a highly heterogeneous range of services (grants, tax breaks, competitions, etc) the need for corporate communications based on a coherent unitary style and language
  9. 9. Some important question Is it possible to apply an e-business website logic to a public administration portal? How can we make it easier for users to find documents on our website? Can we successfully imagine search methods that will offer users maximum information access as well as new business ideas? How can we improve not only info-searching but also user experience ?
  10. 10. A long way to perfection <ul><li>One home page and 4 differently coloured areas dedicated to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>who we are </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>services for businesses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>services for setting up businesses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>services for public administration bodies </li></ul></ul>Each of these areas is like an independent website <ul><li>Problems </li></ul><ul><li>Information overload due to the raising of pages </li></ul><ul><li>Users still get lost during the research process </li></ul>
  11. 11. Up to our clients <ul><li>Navigation tests have carried out with external users </li></ul><ul><li>Many subjects are still buried deep inside the hierarchical structure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Users expressed satisfaction with the information’s quality and quantity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Still complained of navigational difficulty in finding contents </li></ul></ul>Quality of layout Effectiveness of navigation Caption 1: very bad 5: very good
  12. 12. <ul><li>Our project </li></ul>
  13. 13. How does an e-business site work <ul><li>Gucci shoes can be found in many ways as many as there are different user requirements </li></ul>Colour Size Price Designer Shoes www.yoox.com
  14. 14. An e-business logic for a PA portal <ul><li>Classification based on facets exploits a system of mutually exclusive attributes each describing a permanent feature of an object </li></ul><ul><li>Taken all together they provide an exhaustive definition of that object. </li></ul><ul><li>These attributes - facets - feature the following aspects: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>from a semantic viewpoint they are invariable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>they constitute an open system , so that it is always possible to add new facets to existing ones </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>they can be used as research attributes either singularly or in combinations </li></ul></ul>We began re-planning the site using a multidimensional logic (inspired by facets classification)
  15. 15. Facets: how do we use them? <ul><li>We schematised all the website’s texts as homogeneously as possible </li></ul><ul><li>We treated them all in exactly the same way : from macro projects to mini regional announcements </li></ul>How is the user going to go about looking for tax break number X?
  16. 16. How facets work in our portal How much money can I have? Can I require it? What can I do? What kind of help can I have? Where can I use it? MICROIMPRESA a financial tool aimed at starting up a business with some partners
  17. 17. Facets: how do we use them? <ul><li>We had distilled 3 pure facets  3 transversal elements common to all contents </li></ul>What we offer SHOP WINDOW … and a false viewpoint that contains all the instruments without any classifications + <ul><ul><ul><li>TARGET </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Who you are </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>TYPE OF TOOL </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What you need </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>GEOGRAPHY </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Where </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Facets: problems in using them <ul><li>Our internal clients indicated two critical areas: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>no space left for the company image </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>all the financial instruments at the same level of importance . </li></ul></ul>Who we are GROUP PRESENTATION 2 more facets Highlights HOT TOPICS
  19. 19. Facets: the push & pull strategy THE CLIENTS TAKE WHAT THEY NEED PULL WE PROMOTE OUR PRODUCTS PUSH 3 false facets What do we offer – Highlights – Who we are 3 true facets who you are – where – what do you need
  20. 20. Guided search form In the facet form content is associated by selecting the categories in the 3 pure facets form. In facet navigation we would find all the pages dealing with our XYZ funding scheme indiscriminately at the same level . We apply the form only to the first page of each content , the only ones that would be front-end identified. Facets: how do they work?
  21. 21. Search tools: the users language <ul><li>We draught 4 different tools: </li></ul><ul><li>Evolving search </li></ul><ul><li>Guided search </li></ul><ul><li>Shortcuts </li></ul><ul><li>Free search </li></ul>Multidimensional navigation has great advantages but need to be supported and integrated by other tools. Let see their descriptions and how they work.
  22. 22. Evolving search Evolving search is a backoffice tool that gives to the user not only the right answer but the perfect answer for him. We are creating a system based on related items, where the principal contents are semantically connected with other contents. The evolving search explores all the related items and offers them as search results and related documents.
  23. 23. Guided search Offers a valid alternative to multidimensional navigation Allows cross-linking between facets It’s possible to refine search possibilities by using sub-categories
  24. 24. Guided search <ul><li>A functional test with 10 different external subjects revealed that: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>users often selected a lot of the possible options </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>when an item was selected in every facet offered, this caused an extremely high proportion of null results </li></ul></ul>How many categories? We reduced the number of search choices until we reached just 4 facets (one of them has a sub-facet) and 50 categories
  25. 25. Making users into protagonist Listen to the user Do you remember our main idea? <ul><li>We have two ways to do it: </li></ul><ul><li>Looking at the statistics (the more visited areas) </li></ul><ul><li>Recording the words used to search some item </li></ul>Shortcuts Living thesaurus 2 easy and effective tools
  26. 26. Shortcuts Create shortcuts or easy paths for new users towards the most clicked areas New users can reach their information as quickly as possible Shortcuts Users tend to visit some areas of the portal more than others, and are interested in some financial instruments and not in others
  27. 27. Living thesaurus The thesaurus behind our search system can enrich itself by absorbing terms used by clients 100 words most frequently searched by our users Living thesaurus Users can insert terms in the free search box “ Why not exploit these words to create another kind of content classification? ” Combine folksonomy’s ability to grasp aboutness with the authority and findability offered by a professional thesaurus.
  28. 28. One research, one tool <ul><li>Users who enters our portal already knowing what they are looking for ( known-item ): </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>free search </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the “what do you need?” facet </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>quick links </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>user centred navigation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Users who are above all curious to explore the site ( exploratory ): </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>navigation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the related terms system </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>guided search </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Users who come online without knowing what to look for ( don’t know what you need ) can use: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the “what we offer” facet </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>quick links </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>highlights </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>guided search </li></ul></ul></ul>
  29. 29. <ul><li>Our challenges </li></ul>
  30. 32. Preliminary test results <ul><li>Some sections in our present site were never visited </li></ul><ul><li>It needs less time to find a content in the new portal (57.5 sec.–28.5 sec.) </li></ul><ul><li>It needs less steps to find a content in the new portal (4.7-3) </li></ul><ul><li>The subjects expressed positive comments about the new navigation (easier, more evident) </li></ul><ul><li>Often used the research tools (both free and guided) </li></ul>Average number of steps Average time of navigation new old new old
  31. 33. Re-finding Social publishing Social tagging Social media Company blog Our user co-operates, interacts in an autonomous way We meet our clients need by communicating in a straightforward way We make our client’s life easier by reminding him what has visited What do we see in our future? 1 2 3
  32. 34. New tools, new challenges Search history storage: recognize the user through different navigation sessions (refinding). Social media: our press release and news in a RSS compliant form. Social tagging: integrate the clients keywords in an automatic way into the thesaurus. Making visible the words searched more often. Corporate blog: t o get closer to the users and to talk them more directly Social publishing: our clients could write their on success stories in a dedicated area. 1 2 3
  33. 35. <ul><li>We hope to have been interesting and appropriate… thank you </li></ul>