User Centricity

The user-centricity methodology entails drawing upon the expertise, views and perspectives of service users to complement the skills and input of service professionals. The users are meant as persons, citizens and the whole concept of service is based on “putting the user at the center of innovative services” starting from the enablement of a specific procedure: users will be involved in the service development that will be driven by what users want and operate on a scale that is relevant to them. This approach should avoid the typical approach of developers and administrations that only understand the users guess of the services they need or how they intend to deploy the service to solve problems and achieve goals. User-centricity established three conditions for the full achievement of the user-centricity in the provision of a service:

a) Involvement of citizens in the service definition and visioning (i.e. WHAT they need / want)

b) Involvement of citizens in the service development through benchmarking evaluation

c) Involvement of citizens in the service assessment

USER CENTRICITY INDICATORS 

The indicators measure a single service since we do not focus more on e-government tools processes and procedures but rather on outcomes and on users and their needs, and how governments can meet those needs.

The paradigm shifts from a government-centric to a citizen-centric view of public service delivery and we’re here to provide a tool for measuring the effectiveness of the application of this innovative view.

These indicators cover all the three steps identified by the NET-EUCEN network as characteristics and boundaries for the application of user-centricity methodologies, they measure the involvement of citizens in: design, development and usability, actual use. A global indicator has been added as merging concept of all these three stages.



Name
Indicator 1: Definition
What does this represent? This indicator measures the actual involvement of the citizens / user in the definition of the service in its totality.

We take into account four different steps of service definition:

  • The elicitation of needs
  • The definition of the service
  • The list of functionalities
  • The definition of the interaction modalities
Policy background For the elicitation of needs and service definition parameters:

The European eGovernment Action Plan 2011-2015 “Harnessing ICT to promote smart, sustainable & innovative Government” states that:

-       Empowerment means increasing the capacity of citizens, businesses and other organisations to be pro-active in society through the use of new technological tools. Public services can gain in efficiency and users in satisfaction by meeting the expectations of users better and being designed around their needs and in collaboration with them whenever possible.

-       Services (shall be) designed around users needs and Inclusive Services: “Increasing effective eGovernment means that services are designed around users’ needs and provide flexible and personalised ways of interacting and performing transactions with public administrations

For the functionalities and interaction parameters:

The European eGovernment Action Plan 2011-2015, Services (shall be) designed around users needs and Inclusive Services:

-       In addition, the usability of and access to eGovernment services should be improved by delivering eGovernment services via multiple channels (including Internet, TV, telephone, mobile devices, or where appropriate through intermediaries).

Methodological approach The indicators does not distinguish between methodologies of involvement of citizens / users, i.e. the raw data might be gathered from face-to-face workshops as well as from special reports or experts’ feedback. The key concept has been also discussed in “Inclusive service design: Inviting users to participate in and contribute to service design will ensure (online and offline) a focus for services on usability around user needs and demands.”

We assigned a similar weight for each of the four involved parameters, their actual relevance will be defined during the validation phase.

Proposal range [0-1]
Parameters & options Engagement of citizens/users in elicitation of needs

We refer to the involvement of users in procedures (events, surveys, etc.) that enable the creation of lists of actual user needs

YES: 0,25

NO: 0

Involvement of users in the service definition

We refer to the stage when a service does not exist and its targets (the providers, the socio-economic domain, the impact on which citizens’ event-of-life, etc.) must be completely defined starting from the user needs.

YES: 0,25

NO: 0

Involvement of users in functionalities definition

We refer to the stage when the outputs of the services must be defined and the overall integration with P.A. systems has to be outlined.

YES: 0,25

NO: 0

Involvement of users in the complete interaction definition

We refer to the stage when the modalities of interaction with users/citizens are defined, including all the features of input – output, the interfaces and modalities of interaction with user/citizens. Here are in the general phase of complete design of a service before the actual technical design, especially the front-end.

YES: 0,25

NO: 0


Name
Indicator 2: Development
What does this represent? This indicator measures the actual involvement of the citizens/users in the beta-status of the service, more in detail we refer to all those stages that are run before the service is put in place and available for all the users.

We take into account five different issues of service development:

  • Components of the service
    • Test and refining of user interface
    • Test and refining of functionalities
    • Evaluation of the user’ documentation
  • Methodologies
    • Use of a shared environment
    • Engagement of user’ categories
Policy background For the shared environment parameter:

The European eGovernment Action Plan 2011-2015, Collaborative Production of Services:

-       Social networking and collaborative tools (e.g. Web 2.0 technologies) enable users to play an active role in the design and production of public services.

For the categories (supply chain) parameter:

The European eGovernment Action Plan 2011-2015, Collaborative Production of Services:

-       The involvement of third parties needs to be explored which are the most suitable tools and how best to apply these to effectively engage businesses, civil society and individual citizens

Methodological approach This indicator takes into account both aspects of activities and people. The involvement of user-citizens is seen as engagement through continuous feedback, therefore basing it on assessed procedures.

We assigned a similar weight for each of the four involved parameters, their actual relevance will be defined during the validation phase

Proposal range [0-1]
Parameters & options Involvement of users/testers in common shared environment 

We refer to the availability of a space either virtual (online) or real (workshops, meetings) where citizens/users are enabled to share impressions about the tests and further ideas for improvement.

YES: 0,20

NO: 0

Involvement of user in interface test and refining

We refer to the interface of communication between the user and the service

YES: 0,20

NO: 0

Involvement of user in functionalities test and refining

We refer to the functionalities, i.e. to all those aspects that can be used either to customise the service to the users’ needs or to extend it by adding information.

YES: 0,20

NO: 0

Involvement of user in check of documentation / guidelines

We refer to the guidelines and (on-line) helps for using the different features of a service

YES: 0,20

NO: 0

Involvement of ALL user categories in the tests

We refer to the number of categories of users of the service as for service definition. We want to check if ALL the user categories have been actually involved in the beta-tests phase

YES: 0,20

NO: 0



Name
Indicator 3: Assessment
What does this represent? This indicator measures the actual involvement of citizens/users in the mechanism of services’ refining during the usage

We take into account three different issues of service development:

  • Engagement of users’ categories
  • Kind of instrument used for gather the users’ feedback
  • Scope and use of the information gathered from users

 

Policy background For the improvement and definition parameters:

The European eGovernment Action Plan 2011-2015, Involvement of citizens and businesses in policy-making processes:

-       Member States are committed to developing and promoting more useful and better ways, relying on ICT solutions, for businesses and citizens to participate in public policy consultations, debates and policy-making processes.

The Malmö Declaration [6], Improve eGovernment services to cater for the different needs of users and deliver them in the most effective way:

-       Efficient eGovernment services built around the needs of users will increase trust in government and contribute to higher user satisfaction whilst achieving efficiency gains.

Methodological approach The indicator is specific for existing and running services, and includes both people and instruments used for the assessment.

The weight preliminary assigned is the same (33%) for each macro-parameter: Involvement, Instrument, Scope and it has been differentiated accordingly to the number of sub-categories.

Proposal range [0-1]
Parameters & options Involvement of ALL user categories in the assessment

We refer to the number of categories of users of the service as for service definition. We want to check if ALL the user categories have been actually involved in the refining phase

YES: 0,33

NO: 0

Instrument used gather the users’ feedback: phone calls

We refer to the use of: phone calls

YES: 0,0825

NO: 0

Instrument used gather the users’ feedback: web modules

We refer to the use of: web modules

YES: 0,0825

NO: 0

Instrument used gather the users’ feedback: consultations

We refer to the use of: consultations’ campaigns

YES: 0,0825

NO: 0

Instrument used gather the users’ feedback: workshops

We refer to the use of: one or more face-to-face workshops

YES: 0,0825

NO: 0

Scope: improvement of the service usability

We refer to the use of feedback gathered to actually improve the service interface and usability at large.

YES: 0,165

NO: 0

Scope: definition of new features

We refer to the use of feedback gathered to design new features for the service

YES: 0,165

NO: 0

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