User Experience in Government Services: The Need for a Unique Approach (UAE)

Serco Institute & ExperienceLab

Is it possible to accurately measure how people feel about government services? This new report – User Experience in Government Services: The Need for a Unique Approach – from the Serco Institute examines the latest cutting-edge research in an attempt to answer this question.

We argue that to properly measure people’s feelings towards their experience of government services, a new approach is needed which takes into account the unique aspects of these services and the challenges of measuring something as intangible as satisfaction.

This report is the first in a set of twin reports on measuring user satisfaction. Both have a global focus but this edition focuses more on government services in the UAE. Through a series of case studies looking at approaches in North America, Europe, Australia and the Middle East, the Institute explores how different countries are approaching this question. It finds that countries such as the UAE are placing a significant amount of focus on the concept of measuring user experience and leading the way in testing new approaches and methods to try and best capture how people feel about government services.

The research notes that in recent years, the UAE has become a world leader in measuring user satisfaction with government services, having made ‘happiness’ an area of high priority in 2016. Through its National Programme for Happiness and Wellbeing, the UAE Government has pledged to incorporate happiness into all functions, policies and services of government, overseen by a Minister of State for Happiness.

The report outlines, however, that some organisations and governments globally still seek to deploy measures which are unfit for purpose, developed for use in the private sector. This is found to be problematic for multiple reasons, including:

  • Government services often operate in a far less competitive environment;
  • Governments have an obligation to provide services for all citizens and residents and so must account for a much wider range of demographic, language and accessibility considerations;
  • Governments often also provide services which are unpopular regardless of whether they are efficient, well-managed or deliver a good user experience. 

The report furthermore identifies key considerations which will need to go into designing a new Government Services Satisfaction Index, split into two key categories:

  • Data collection, or inputs: What information needs to be collected to measure a user’s satisfaction?
    • How can we complement quantitative data with qualitative analysis?
    • Should we be asking users to state their preferences, or should we track their behaviour to uncover what they really prefer?
    • At which point during a user’s interaction with a government service should we be measuring their satisfaction?
  • Data analysis, or outputs: How do we distil the information we’ve gathered into actionable recommendations for policymakers?
    • How do we balance easily discernible quantitative data with more insightful qualitative findings?
    • How can we create a comparable series of metrics to measure performance of government services over time?
    • Should we rely more on descriptive statistics, which identify the visible characteristics of a user sample, or inferential statistics, to make predictions about a much larger group of people?

By identifying the problems with existing methods of measuring satisfaction, this report hopes to form a fundamental building block as the basis for a new government services-oriented metric of user satisfaction.

Read the full report here: 

English

Arabic

Download the full report
The Serco Institute's new report takes a deep dive into user satisfaction with government services, challenges with measuring it and why a new approach is needed.

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