Why you should give public sector UX a try

5 thoughts on “Why you should give public sector UX a try”

  1. Adrian says:

    Had the pleasure of working with Chris and must say that his skills and experience really add value to what we are trying to do, it certainly makes for interesting but worthwhile conversations.

  2. Tim Blackwell says:

    Interesting to read your comments about help texts – and would be interesting to find out a bit more about how you confirmed it was the presence of additional help material that contributed to user error. As opposed to:

    * help text being ambiguous or inaccurate; or
    * the population of users who read the help text being more uncertain of the correct answer than those who did not.

    For an example of the latter – suppose we ask a worker

    Are you employed or self employed?

    For many workers the distinction will be clear, and they won’t need to read the help text (unless it’s been made particularly intrusive). For agency workers the distinction may not be so clear – some might fall into one category for employment law and another for claiming benefits. These people might be more likely to read the help text, but also more likely to answer the question wrongly in the first place.

    1. Chris Mears says:

      Hi Tim,

      The main thing we noticed was that the majority of people skipped the help text and went straight to the input box where they put a correct answer in.

      They subsequently went back to read over the help text before clicking submit and spent a great deal of time re-reading it – in some cases opting to change their original correct answer to something else.

      In this case it was probably down to ambiguous and far too wordy help text which the majority of users probably didn’t need to make the correct decision.

      1. Tim Blackwell says:

        Interesting, Thanks.

  3. Dave Evans says:

    I agree with the general sentiment towards practising UX in the public sector; my last role involved working with councils to help the guys on ground assisting the public – really rewarding stuff. Compare that with the cut throat advertising and media industry, and the cynical nature of achieving KPIs at any cost (including UX), and it opens your eyes to what importance your role can play in society. I hope to go back to public sector work one day.

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