By Jessica Skretch, FTC
One challenge with digital government: it’s hard to see people.
If you work at a U.S. Post Office, you interact with your customers, talk with them, and even see what they are feeling by looking at their faces. You can understand their experience fairly easily. In the digital world, technology decreases physical distance but increases the personal distance between us and our audience. Often we have to make sense of piles of data and user comments to determine if people even like what we offer or find it valuable.
So, in addition to collecting good analytics (like through GSA’s free Digital Analytics Program), it’s crucial to understand your how your customers use your technology on a one-to-one basis. That’s why you focus on the User Experience (or UX); a product’s ease-of-use, whether it looks nice or creates any emotional friction, and if people can use it to accomplish something they want.
User Experience is closely related to Customer Experience, and the User Experience program that I manage at GSA helps: build UX teams at agencies across the federal government, them to understand their customers’ needs, and build products centered around them.
For this month’s UX theme, we’re hitting this topic from lots of angles:
- The exciting results from our Federal User Experience research study
- How Plain Language saved a Department of Education website
- See great recorded presentations about User Experience by DigitalGov University
- How Accessibility and Usability are similar (and different)
- (We all love surveys.) Here’s how to avoid making a bad one
- Why slow load times can crush your Responsive Web Design implementation
- How to ensure people use your site search? Here’s one important thing NOT to do