Where are we heading: A future state for user experience

What does a great user experience actually look like? We started by drawing upon all of our user research to create different options to test with users. We wanted to create experiences which were dynamic, responsive, that cut across agencies and jurisdictions, and that enabled third party reuse and innovation.

If we are going to achieve a better user experience we need to design a future state that is consistent, user focussed and responsive to changing needs, systems and structure. We looked at how we can more dynamically bring together information and services around the needs and pathways of people, rather than the structures of government.

To move the discussion from the abstract, we built some conceptual prototypes to test ideas. We picked some tangible scenarios that involve multiple agencies or tiers of government, domestic and international audiences, a variety of sectors and topics, services that require people to login and transact securely, and from both business and individual perspectives.

What we did

We intentionally ignored the limitations of the existing technology landscape in government because we want to design a future state that is properly user-centric that agencies can align to.

We mapped the current user experience for a wide range of scenarios and found a confusing number of options for users to choose from, often with different or conflicting versions of similar information. We then put our minds to how we could make this better, taking what we know from existing user research and behaviours, whilst trying to overcome the problems in the current user experience.

The conceptual prototypes demonstrate a potential future state for engaging with government information and services, but also some immediate options for improvement and the necessary dependencies for future service providers.

The prototypes

The prototypes are only conceptual - this is not a proposed visual design. They are designed to test possible ways for government websites to work in the future, and are being shared for feedback. We anticipate that these will change over time in response to user testing.

The prototypes include options for:

  • aggregating important information on entry points like business.gov.au and australia.gov.au
  • syndicating content to non-government websites
  • exploring options around logging in and filtering information based on user needs or behaviour

We identified that some of the functionality required to support this future state would include:

  • discoverable and consumable content
  • a whole of government services catalogue
  • a trusted identity framework
  • the whole of government analytics and user research,
  • the continued role of overarching websites like australia.gov.au and business.gov.au to provide a concierge service.

As we get feedback on the prototype and it is tested and defined we’ll map out the plan for how to transition to a future state. Once finalised it will be added to the Digital Service Design Guide to support agencies in future planning.

What do you think?

We are formally testing the prototypes with end users to see what works. We want to hear your thoughts on the prototypes, the opportunities, challenges and dependencies in trying to improve the user experience with government as a whole. Please share your thoughts here or though the prototype pages on GitHub and YouTube.

We’ll also be holding a number of public consultations and consultative events about the prototypes and other parts of the DTO’s work over the next few months – so subscribe to the DTO mailing list or the RSS feed to stay involved.

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