Poor web experiences drive customers away
More than three quarters of Australians prefer to access services electronically. Web content offers greater control and consistency when it comes to disseminating public service information, however a frustrating online experience can drive customers away for life.
In order to provide effective services, government departments and agencies must be able to offer efficient, user-friendly digital channels.
The Federal Government Department of Human Services sought to optimise its extremely complex and well-trafficked website, in order to ensure customers would find it an efficient experience.
To do so, the department deployed LATTE, a software tool we developed to decipher patterns in how people interact with websites. Unlike most conventional web analytics tools, LATTE compares the sequence and duration of page visits to patterns that denote user frustration or an inability to easily find information (like jumping to a Google search after loading four or five pages in succession).
Doing so allows the software to detect not only when, but why people encounter trouble with finding certain information on a website – revealing the direct impact of vocabulary choice, page hierarchy, and other contextual elements on the effectiveness of online channels.
One frustrating web experience can drive customers away for life.
Analyses user experience in a browsing session
Helps web admins figure out when and why users give up
Identifies patterns that denote user frustration and where customers can't find what they need
Informs improvements and measures their impact.
Customers are more likely to find what they need on the department's website. CSIRO is now looking to commercialise LATTE, including as a cloud-hosted service for the public sector.
LATTE distils all this data from the standard log files captured on any web server, mitigating many of the potential data privacy concerns that the department might have otherwise faced. This also meant the software could be rolled out at scale with minimal change to existing IT systems: an initial prototype was operating across all Human Services data sets within several months of the project first being floated.
A faster, easier customer experience
Today, the department's web developers and administrators use LATTE as a part of their workflow, accessing it through a web browser plugin that displays real-time findings and potential 'trouble spots' based on the software's back-end analytics. The plugin, which came about through an iterative design process led by our researchers, allows department personnel to adapt their online content and structure in response to LATTE's analytics reports.
With no other tool providing the same balance between scalability and accuracy of web experience tracking, our researchers are now developing a number of commercial solutions based on LATTE, including cloud-based services for both private and public-sector agencies.