August 10th, 2017

Citizen First Means Mobile First for Government

Below is a snapshot of the current US Senate website via an iPhone:

US Senate Site

Believe it or not, today, more than 50% of the visitors are using mobile devices and it appears that the government is still employing flash. Omni-channel enabled digital services is only a very basic requirement.

Check out some additional examples from state and local cities online services.

New Jersey’s State website via an iPhone:New Jersey State Site

Houston City Hall via an iPhone:

Houston City Hall

Of the 50 government services that we randomly tested, 7 out of 10 were not mobile friendly. This includes some of the most populated cities and states in the US.

Being tied to a desktop is history. Citizens and employees alike expect all government services to be accessible from mobile devices. Within a couple of years, 80% of all Internet access will be exclusively through mobile, wearable and voice interfaces.

Governments Are Failing to Meet Citizen and Employee Needs for Mobile Services
We used the US Senate as an example as it sets a precedence for everyone else, but we could provide a list of hundreds of other federal, state and municipal services that fall short.

Unfortunately, most online government services today suffer from multiple issues:

  • Services weredesigned based on pre-digital needs and processes
  • Created based on a specific technology, rather than to solve a user problem
  • Mobile optimized, but not designed for mobile
  • Usability issues due to the lack of user involvement during design and development
  • Infrequent updates and thus not improving over time

It will continue to become more challenging to keep up with new technologies and requirements from citizens. Voice and chat interfaces, artificial intelligence, privacy, VR/AR, IoT and more.

In addition to these, there’s also major budget and timeline overruns, maintenance issues and security breaches.

But There’s a Solution
Governments need to take a new approach, designing services for the human first. This includes:

  • Identifying and understanding the problems to be solved for citizens and employees
  • Prototyping and testing possible solutions in collaboration with the end users
  • Validating the solutions before investing in technology and development
  • Developing the services in collaboration with the end-users, testing every stage along the way
  • Integrating analytics and feedback loops to continuously improve services
  • Leveraging modern cloud architecture with micro services and embedded DevOps

Using this methodology leads to greater success in solving problems, higher satisfaction among citizens, lower costs and faster results.

Government entities may not be able to agree on the technical platforms, budgets and processes, but putting humans first inevitably brings them together around a common problem.

How Does This Relate to Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation, including mobile enablement of government and public services will only succeed with a human first approach. Today, over 80% of all digital transformations fail because organizational challenges and culture is not addressed. Due to the programs being too big and ambitious, but foremost because technology and budget are at the center, not the end users.

Want to Learn More About How You Can Succeed?
DMI has 15 years of experience designing government and public services with a human first approach. Our methodology, DMI Action, is designed to deliver human first services faster and with greater success. Success stories include e.g. US Coast Guard, NASA, NHS, MSHA, USDA and more.

Contact us to set up a workshop to discuss your challenges and share our insights and experience.

Magnus Jern
Chief Innovation Officer

Tags: digital transformation government Mobility Strategy omnichannel

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