City of Boston
Boston.gov was totally redesigned by IDEO to be more modern and citizen-centric. Expanding on existing services, the City of Boston want to offer all services online to citizens.
new FEATURE INTEGRATION
My Role: UX & UI Designer
Design the process of requesting a birth, marriage, or death certificate through a responsive website. Design the logged-in environment for viewing.
4 week (80 hours) design sprint.
Research, Define, Design, Test were all allocated a week with a human centered design approach to reduce risk and uncertainty.
Secondary research revealed the motivations of the original re-design and the local demographic of the City of Boston.
Availability ≠ accessibility
Common on many government websites, there is a wealth of information and services, but it is not always easy to access. The average American reads at a seventh or eighth grade level and even the best readers may have trouble understanding government speak. With this in mind, IDEO’s redesign aims to provide a more conversational tone and act like a helpful human; welcoming and highly useful.
Fueled with a broader understanding of the City of Boston and the redesign, 1-1 interviews were conducted to empathize with users wishing to engage with a government service. The underlying issue across all interviews was that of trust;
Trust that the information displayed was correct
Trust in the process, due to the lack of visibility
That personal information was secure, especially online
A visual representation of this research was to create through provisional personas (secondary research), primary persona and a journey map.
Focusing on the new feature, business and user goals were defined, helping to solidify what was important. While I do not have access to the client and their data, I estimated the percentage increase of traffic to the site and new account creation.
Further definition came with a site map, task and user flow. This allowed for both an overview of how it would sit within the existing product and more on a micro level, the steps to create a human centric flow.
With the importance of keeping the visual language consistent with what had already been created, a visual UI kit was assembled as a reference point. Pencil sketches moved into mid fidelity wireframes.
To reduce the cognitive load, the form was broken into pages, reducing the number of tasks per page. Clear page titles and the inclusion of a progress bar, allow the user to see clearly where they are in the process without the burden of having to remembering.
Un-moderated usability testing was conducted using maze.design. This enabled me to reach a large number of users quickly but had it’s downfalls. What I learned from the experience is that this tool is more suited to short tasks. Having an involved task and multiple screens, the participants rarely left any comments and there were a number of opportunities missed if I had performed the testing in person.
What the limited results revealed, was that success of guiding the user through the form reflected in the low mis-click rate. Unfortunately, users still found trust of sharing personal data online a large issue.
CONCLUSION + NEXT STEPS
With a large demographic of users, it would be important to test with a wider group within the Boston community. While it was interesting viewing the data online through un-moderated testing, this would be more suitable to less detailed tasks. In this instance, in person usability testing would have revealed more opportunities through conversation, unfiltered thoughts and observations.
Applying this layout across multiple applications would also uncover new opportunities before rolling out a template for forms across the whole of the City of Boston website.
Once released, it would be important to monitor the metrics to see if the goals are met; tracking online application completion, account creations and feedback through the customer service and the registry office.