Project with the government of India
Role: UX Researcher & Designer
How can we make the confusing, time consuming, cumbersome, manual process of information collection for millions of Government Officials more efficient?
It was observed that critical pieces of information desired by leadership were often scattered across various Groups / Divisions / Organization of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). The current process is immensely time consuming due to the huge amount of man hours spent in manual execution of tasks such as circulation, follow-ups & reminders, compilation, consolidation, submission for approvals, and responding back to outside ministry. This valuable time could have been utilised for better productivity.
The proposed system eases out the burden of millions of users by providing automated communication, coordination & significant assistance at each step of human involvement.
About a million users from union ministries across India which include the following people in each section of the government
Presenting the idea at the Government of India Headquarters in Delhi gave me an opportunity to observe the officials in their natural context and conduct research over a period of 3 days. It gave me a chance to get the officials familiarized with the concept and importance of user research and design. I chose Ethnographic & field research, and Guerrilla research methods since I had to study how the officials would interact with the system in their day to day work routines.
Ethnographic & Field Research
- It involved me observing and interacting with the government officials in their real-life environment
- As a designer it provided me deeper understanding of the user processes, goals, context of use & pain points
- Helped me in observing the users in their natural context which led to me picking up on important nuances such as this process was one small part of their job and thus the amount of effort spent had to be equivalent to that.
- Gave insights on how their location, time constraints, environment and other factors would affect their working.
- Made us realize that the flow of information wasn’t linear and involved a complex, integrated flow which they referred to as an “umbrella inside an umbrella”
- Main motivation behind using this method was that we were running on a time crunch, & it provided sufficient enough insights to make informed strategic decisions.
- It was lot more palatable to the government officials who struggled with understanding the value of research.
- It involved me interviewing officials from different hierarchies and departments without recruiting them.
- Helped me understand that users from different departments had different feature requirements, pain points and working circumstances under which they asked for information.
- After analyzing this data we decided on a set of features that would overcome the major pain points of people from majority of the departments.
Analyzing User Research
I tried identifying actions, patterns, pain-points, and trends about the users, tried to understand my users, their contexts, needs, and then tried building a goal that works towards serving them in the best possible way. I found out the following potential areas of pain points that were common to users from majority hierarchies and needed automation -
After making sense of the data I created a information flow diagram
After analyzing the flow I found out the users major pain points
Brainstorming & Sketching
After analyzing our user research I encouraged my team members to participate in a brainstorming & sketching session. This was a crucial step to bring them onboard with the research and to help them realize the importance of the user-centered design process. Before starting with the brainstorming session, I presented them with the findings of user research, so that their solutions would be in line with the research findings.
- The requesting authority creates a request with a title, description, deadline, priority and assigns it to another user (Admin)
- The person on the receiving end creates a document and fills in the information if he has it or passes the document down the chain in parts or as a whole.
- At any point if the user has issues he/ she can raise issues on the issue board and assign it to users involved in the request.
- The chain grows down with a detailed mechanism for tracking
- The system generates notifications segregated by type - service or issues to keep the user informed at all times
- Once the request is approved by the requesting authority it is added to the archives.
- The archived templates can be revisited and reused.
After coming up with the initial prototype we performed remote moderated testing with different user profiles which eventually led us into iteratively discovering issues and making changes. The purpose of the testing was to find if the system was mimicking the manual process correctly and to recognize if the users needed some additional features. The following were the main usability test findings that needed attention:
Made by Mrunmayee Patil