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myGov update fails on promises and potential

Joe Russell, Buzinga | June 9, 2017
Even after a revamp, myGov is failing to live up to its potential.

1. Removing data-duplication to ease the sign-in process

MyGov is a task-focused site. Therefore, the government's goal should be to reduce the time spent in the portal. Data entry double-ups demonstrate a lack of prioritisation of completion and efficiency. Most online banking portals are able to securely remember usernames for simpler and easier sign-ins, and myGov should follow suit.

Removing mobile verification from initial sign-in will not compromise security and could be moved to access more sensitive information, like ATO details. This barrier also fails to take into account those who do not own a mobile phone, therefore completely disrupting their seamless experience with the portal.

If the government were to have a mobile application for the myGov portal, they could use simpler sign-in processes such as a fingerprint.

2. Providing load indictors to prompt users

One of the primary functions of the portal is to submit forms, yet there are no helpful prompts (like the one pictured below) to notify the user that their submission is in progress. 

The government claims to have spent hundreds of hours researching and conducting focus groups with the 'average' user, but even they might be tempted, out of frustration or unawareness, to refresh the screen or press back during a submission and lose all of their data in the process.

Ticketing sites, for example, have this basic function to ensure customers don't disrupt the payment process. Implementing a loading indicator can save users from further frustration, and save preventable government intervention.

3. Improving interface for accessibility and usability

In Australia, there are over 4 million people who have some form of disability and face significant barriers in their day-to-day lives, including the use of the web. As an Australian Government initiative, we would hope to have seen designing for accessibility a core focus of the user experience and user-interface design. All services should be displayed the same way it is shown for linked services, with the logo prominent and easily identifiable.


Verdict: Satisfactory, with room for improvement

The government had an awesome opportunity with the millions of dollars it had to spend on this product to build something for the Uber and Airbnb generation - the future of Australia. Other ways myGov could be improved include:  

  • Evidence of proper usability testing
  • A more engaging user-interface
  • Adhere to web standards and best practices
  • Skip Patterns (cursor skips to next field automatically) to make data entry quicker
  • Simple to access language translation

User experience (UX) best practice employed on the myGov website will mean more problems solved online by the customers themselves, and better satisfaction and sentiment towards the government. Ultimately, this means better use of taxpayer money.


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