With the rise of single sign-in portals and one-stop-shops for government services, tailoring the user experience is becoming increasingly important for incentivising citizens to interact with government online.
The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) is now considering ways to personalise services without requiring user-authentication. Personalisation so far has mainly extended to services with user accounts which require password log-ins, such as MyGov.
DTA is looking to conduct proof of concept trials to learn how data driven personalisation, which does not require a user account, can be applied across Australian Government websites.
The trial is intended to inform DTA’s understanding of the issues and opportunities around personalising user experience rather than to implement a “production-ready solution”.
Certain government agencies have already made progress in the personalisation of their websites, which is often informed by user interactivity.
For example, the introduction of a virtual assistant on the Australian Taxation Office’s website is helping users navigate according to their needs. The ATO is also assessing the viability of a proactive ‘push’ function that sees the ATO website virtual assistant Alex “pop up” when a customer is “floundering on a page for a while”.
Current best practice examples of platforms with personalised services, albeit which require users to log in, include Queensland’s Starting a Café portal and Service NSW’s various portals.
In May 2017, Queensland’s Assistant Director-General of Digital Productivity and Services at the Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation Andrew Spina told Intermedium that simply “making existing services available [to citizens] online wouldn’t meet their expectations for government services to ‘know them’, ‘join up around them’ and ‘come to them’”.
This is the aim of the Starting a Café portal, which cuts through the “information noise” through interactive questioning and guides the user through each step in the process of starting a cafe based on the rules and regulations that pertain to a specified location and business type.
According to Spina, the personalised approach to service delivery will “not create a single honeypot of customer data” but will find better ways of using the information government already collects. This means “better secure connections, interoperability and data sharing.”
In NSW, Service NSW has launched several solutions to meet personalised requirements. The business navigator solution has streamlined the application processes for starting a business. Users do not have to navigate between different tiers of government or between agencies. The solution is currently available to those starting a café, restaurant or small bar, with plans to expand service offerings to other sectors.