What makes the Amazon shopping experience immensely satisfying? Or which characteristics of the augmented reality inspired game Pokémon Go excited people so much that it managed to add 500 million users in only 2 months!
The answer lies in ultimate ‘user experience,’ which is one of the most significant stages in an application, software, or website – it can make or break it.
The digital revolution is here. Technologies like Artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and robotics are creating significant changes in our lifestyle. The transformation with these technologies simplify workflow processes and improve productivity. Organizations are striving to delight customers through heightened user experiences and service delivery, and their incomparable experience via products and services is creating a loyal customer base.
While commercial organizations are going all out to provide the best customer engagement, the government too must jump on the bandwagon of providing their citizens the best possible service interaction.
The government and industries must work together to integrate the latest technologies in their services and applications for their citizens, imbibed with a great user experience. Services offered by the government for its citizens are usually in the range of applying for a new passport, booking a holiday, submitting applications, requests to fill potholes, regulating cleanliness drives on garbage, graffiti, and recycling, or to maintaining facilities such as 24/7 medical staff..the list is endless.
To address these issues and much more, it is the government’s responsibility to create, innovate and improve the interactions between their citizens. But before we answer this, we first take a look at what is User Experience or UX:
What is User Experience
UX relates to a user’s satisfying experience during his/her journey on all touch points/interactions with an application, a software or a website. These applications are usually engrossing, accessible, insightful, and gratifying to use. Some examples of great user experiences apart from the ones mentioned above are online shopping, banking, finding information on (using) a product, locating restaurants, using Siri and Google to search for things, surfing for information, downloading music, paying for movies beforehand, tracking shipments, using online chatbots for answers to queries instantly etc.
User experience can be rightly defined as a set of design practices engaged in creating the application: how easy/difficult it is during the search (for/in the application), the consistency of the application across all devices, the strength of the content, the clean and polished design, usefulness, trustworthiness, usability and understandability of the application, triggers which pull customers to one’s application and satisfy their needs, structured text, and word of mouth created by the positive influence of the application.
Mobile applications are the clear winners for providing the ultimate user experience. During the development of such applications, the customer’s preferences and requirements must be assessed via surveys and workshops. An analysis must be conducted to understand the exact user requirements. Prototypes built should be made interactive and visually appealing, and then tested. The feedback of the user usually communicates the success of the project. Once the preferences are incorporated in the real application, the customer not only engages with the organization’s brand, but the organization creates an edge over other competitors too.
The government’s initiative
It is the government’s responsibility to provide the essential services to make lives easy for the citizens. Governments must give importance to technologies such as cloud, IoT and social media that can enable digital service models thereby providing transparency to citizens through applications. Generally, the private sector has a set target audience for their applications but the public sector needs to cater to all types of families, languages, senior citizens, and differently-abled which tends to get more challenging. The government must continuously analyze the citizen’s needs along with up gradation of the application in its content, features, and variations. Designing simple services which serve the majority of the citizens, and providing tailored services to elders or those with specific needs involves streamlining processes which increase collaboration and confidence over the government, and most of all focus on user experience.
A proactive government must connect its citizens with technology to improve their quality of life leading to better citizen engagement, efficiency, public satisfaction and enhanced outcomes. This transformation drive by the government must innovate and interact on a continuous basis with citizens for greater confidence and build a strong association.