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Design of websites for large organisations
25 Mar 2017 (18 views)

Many websites of large organizations and government agencies are poorly designed. The public finds them difficult to use, especially when they have to submit transactions. I have bad experience with these websites over the years. 

Bad features
Here are some of the bad features:

1. It is difficult to sign in to the websites. The authentication process is quite difficult. This is due to the perceived need to provide security and prevent impersonation. 

2. It is difficult to search for the information or form that is needed. They are hidden under many layers of links.

3. It is difficult to submit the data that is needed. The data may be not available or may not know what is required.

The time taken by the customer to make the submission is usually much more than what the organization stated. I have seen many forms that specified the time needed to be 5 minutes. In practice, it could take much longer to understand what is needed and to get the correct data.

Often, mistakes are made in the submission. The time taken by the organization and customer to rectify the mistake could be considerable. I suspect that many of these mistakes are ignored.

Tips to improve the design
I share some suggestions to improve the design of the website.

4. Follow Pareto's Law. Design the website to take care of the commonly used transactions. This may represent 20% of the types of transactions but they take up 80% of the volume. 

5. Provide information on the less frequently used transactions, but the actual submission can be handled with assistance by the staff. 

6. Separate the preparation and approval of the transaction. The preparation can be made without the need for sign-in. This allows the preparation to be done by a low level staff or agent. Sign in with high level security is required only for approval of the transaction.

7. Give the option for the public to opt to receive replies by encripted email, rather than manual mail. Allow the user to specify the key to encrypt and decrypt the mail.

8. Provide more support staff to help the public. The support staff are familiar with the requirements of the website, as they do it every day. The public needs to spend a lot of time just to understand the requirements.


 


Design of websites for large organisations
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Many websites of large organizations and government agencies are poorly designed. The public finds them difficult to use, especially when they have to submit transactions. I have bad experience with these websites over the years. 

Bad features
Here are some of the bad features:

1. It is difficult to sign in to the websites. The authentication process is quite difficult. This is due to the perceived need to provide security and prevent impersonation. 

2. It is difficult to search for the information or form that is needed. They are hidden under many layers of links.

3. It is difficult to submit the data that is needed. The data may be not available or may not know what is required.

The time taken by the customer to make the submission is usually much more than what the organization stated. I have seen many forms that specified the time needed to be 5 minutes. In practice, it could take much longer to understand what is needed and to get the correct data.

Often, mistakes are made in the submission. The time taken by the organization and customer to rectify the mistake could be considerable. I suspect that many of these mistakes are ignored.

Tips to improve the design
I share some suggestions to improve the design of the website.

4. Follow Pareto's Law. Design the website to take care of the commonly used transactions. This may represent 20% of the types of transactions but they take up 80% of the volume. 

5. Provide information on the less frequently used transactions, but the actual submission can be handled with assistance by the staff. 

6. Separate the preparation and approval of the transaction. The preparation can be made without the need for sign-in. This allows the preparation to be done by a low level staff or agent. Sign in with high level security is required only for approval of the transaction.

7. Give the option for the public to opt to receive replies by encripted email, rather than manual mail. Allow the user to specify the key to encrypt and decrypt the mail.

8. Provide more support staff to help the public. The support staff are familiar with the requirements of the website, as they do it every day. The public needs to spend a lot of time just to understand the requirements.