Thursday, March 29, 2012

govdex upgrade coming soon!

In all the time I worked in the public service I had a fondness for govdex.

As a secure collaboration system (built from the Confluence wiki platform) for government, it was often one of the few pre-built tools that agencies could use to share information between agencies.

Although it did, at times, suffer from slow speeds, low levels of promotion and a clunky interface, the support team was unfailingly helpful and cheerful and AGIMO's management stuch with it through thick and thin, knowing that govdex had the potential to transform the way agencies interacted with each other and with external stakeholders.

I am extremely pleased to see that AGIMO is working on an upgrade to govdex that will dramatically reshape the appearance and usability of the service.

Anticipated later this year (though I, for one, am happy for it to take as long as needed to ensure quality), the upgrade to govdex appears from the screenshots to make the interface far more comparable to modern online and social media tools - the tools that public servants are familiar with at home.

 AGIMO says in the govdex support pages that the new upgrade will,
make govdex more user friendly, provide easier use for navigation and collaboration, incorporate better use of customisation, improve interoperability and functionality, and accommodate Web 2.0 tools and technologies.
 The new govdex will,
will bring faster performance, greater levels of accessibility, improved document management capability, a higher degree of networking within communities, and better user customisation.
Even better, AGIMO is modelling an excellent user-centred design approach in that the system is being redeveloped based on a simple principle, "build a system for users, by users", with govdex "seeking feedback from its users on the design features of the new govdex."

I hope, with the success of this redesign, we'll see other agencies with less experience using this approach adopt this as a best practice example of user-centred design and employ the approach for their own online services to staff, stakeholders and citizens.

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