Whatever government web teams have, it is rarely a culture centred on me (aka the customer).
When you spend as many hours at a desk as I do, you don’t want to be held up. I’m dipping in and out of your website because I have to, not because it’s fun or even interesting (though sometimes it is). I simply have a job to do. Hours of it.
If the navigation is clear, the wording is concise and I can perform the task I want, I’m done and dusted, and I can get on with the rest of my day.
So it was great to edit bits of a new website over the past few weeks that put ‘me’ first. For example, a water rebate scheme. What is it for? What does it do? How much is it worth? Who is eligible? Further information. Contact us.
The headings are straightforward, seen at a glance. The text is short. I can click on some text for further information, if I need it. There is a phone number if I want to speak to a human being and an email address if I don’t.
Best of all, I don’t have to wade through all that ‘process-oriented’ information about how ‘we’ got to this point.
This website isn’t live yet but it will sparkle soon for a brief and shining moment. At first glance, the rest of us will be pleasantly surprised and relieved that our job is made easier and then (ungrateful wretches that we are), we’ll move on.
But my meanderings will be more enjoyable and I thank those web teams who are taking the time and trouble to get it right for us.