"Having that cheerleader that champion internally -- it's huge," Lewan says.
In many cases, the mission for an agency's tech team is to undo the legacy work of their predecessors, who would often build a website with little regard for the user experience, instead modeling the site's navigation on the government's counter-intuitive internal organizing structure.
"One of the things about government sites, often times they are built from the government's point of view -- this is the way we're organized, citizen, you figure it out," Lewan says.
In aggregate, the federal websites that ForeSee evaluated scored 75.1, 5.1 points higher than the first quarterly index the firm issued in 2002.
In the time since, consumers have demonstrated a clear preference for interacting with the government via the Web or, more recently, new channels like mobile apps. That's a win-win for the federal agencies that develop compelling websites that engender loyalty and trust, and keep citizens from going to more costly channels like a call center.
"Most citizens want to get their data through the digital channel," Lewan says. "So delivering a great digital experience is just optimal for really both citizens and government."
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