The federal government’s troubled myGov website has had a digital makeover to make it more intuitive to navigate, nicer to look at and easier to access using mobile phones or tablets.
The overhaul was made more pressing by the large jump in traffic to the government services portal over the last two years. The federal government said that myGov had 10 million users and dealt with more than 242,000 logins every day: twice the number of logins from just two years’ ago.
It is a pivotal website that millions of Australian must interact with daily, dealing as it does with a huge range of services. MyGov was launched in 2013 to provide a single access point for ten different agencies providing services including Medicare, tax, Centrelink, the National Disability Insurance Scheme and My Health Record.
The government has recognised that any failure of myGov or rising customer frustration with the system can be a very public and vocal affair.
Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor said in March this year:
“The public will ultimately judge us when they go on to the myGov website, when they pay their tax or ask for a refund, when they come through immigration, when they are engaging with the industry portfolio as a small business, they will judge us on how that goes.
“They’ll accept that there are speed humps along the way. But they will be unforgiving if that experience doesn’t continually improve.”
The changes were in response to ‘hundreds of hours of user research’ which revealed common complaints about the website, including the difficult language used, confusing instructions and dumping large swathes of information on users.
People also complained about how often they were locked out of their accounts and the difficulty in getting these unlocked.
The joint statement by Mr Taylor and Human Services Minister Alan Tudge about the myGov revamp said this problem had been addressed to make signing in easier and to allow users to unlock their own accounts once they had been suspended.
They claimed the changes had resulted in incorrect logins being reduced by 37 per cent.
Mr Taylor said: “We listened and we got it. The new look myGov also demonstrates how the DTA can partner with other agencies and departments to transfer skills and transform delivery.”
The sign-in process had already been tinkered with over the past year to show users passwords as they typed them (to cut down on login failures and account suspensions) and allowing people to use email or mobile numbers instead of just alphanumeric usernames.
Mr Tudge said the government had incorporated user feedback and collaborated with other departments to fast-tracked changes.
“Our investment in myGov is transforming the way people do business with government – making life easier for 10 million Australians,” Mr Tudge said.
“In response to user feedback, we’ve also made it easier for users to find and access the services they need.”
The rollout, which occurred over the weekend, was a joint project between the Department of Human Services and the Digital Transformation Agency and the Australian Tax Office.
The government said the Discovery and Alpha phases were completed by the Digital Transformation Agency while the prototype stage and the beta product were a partnership between the ATO and DHS.
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