User experience (UX) is not just a passing trend. Good UX is essential for good government.
So what is UX? Usability.gov defines UX as “the quality of the user’s interaction with and perceptions of your product and any related services.” Ensuring a good UX requires a deep understanding of your users, including their needs, values, abilities, and limitations.
So why is UX so important for federal employees and the communities they serve? Here are three reasons:
1. Good UX is as American as Apple (pie).
Americans have become accustomed to great design thanks to players like Apple, Google, and Amazon, whose businesses thrive on creating exceptional user experiences. Americans now expect to receive great service in everything they do, be it listening to music or receiving social security payments, searching the web or comparing mortgages, buying e-books or visiting their nation’s monuments. They want digital services to be quick and easy, so they can get the answers or resources they need.
2. Good UX makes development better, faster and cheaper.
With a focus on improving the quality and scope of digital government, federal agencies are charged with making high-quality services available digitally. For many agencies, this can seem like a burden, but it doesn’t have to be. By paying attention to UX, agencies across the board can more quickly and cost-effectively develop technical solutions to serve all their customers. This happens by getting the design right the first time with a solution that matches the human need behind the technology.
3. Good UX is good for you, too.
Imagine if you could focus on what mattered most to you and your agency, instead of working around fussy software or dealing with the same complaints and answering the same questions from users over and over again. UX can help make that possible by ensuring customers can meet their own needs through your agency’s website and mobile apps and that the digital tools you use behind the scenes have good UX, too.