The top 5 things to know about the Digital Transformation Office and improving Canada.ca
With more than 2 million visits every day, Canada.ca is undoubtedly the primary window to government information and services for Canadians. The team orchestrating, designing and improving that window is the Digital Transformation Office (DTO).
Here are the top five things you need to know about the DTO and their optimization endgame:
- It’s about trust. Canadians spend an average 5.5 hours on the internet every day.Footnote 1 They face increasingly sophisticated online scams, fraudsters and businesses that charge fees for free government services. It is more important than ever for them to be able to identify and trust Government of Canada (GC) information and services. DTO works with departments to develop and support the GC brand.
- The evidence shield. User research and usability testing are at the core of everything the DTO does. Learning how real people succeed or fail in finding and using web content is the catalyst for change – there are no experts with all the answers. Testing with users produces video evidence of real people struggling with content that is too complicated, hard to use or difficult to find. It’s this evidence that helps content experts develop empathy for their users and motivates them to make content better.
- A design that delivers. The DTO is responsible for the design of Canada.ca, which includes its look and layout, how to write for the web and how to structure content, so that users have a consistent experience across the government. It all comes together in the Canada.ca design system—a set of patterns and templates, guided by clear standards, to simplify work and save time for the web and communications communities, while ensuring user needs are met. We are only as strong as our weakest link… or webpage. Read more about the latest update to the design on the Canada.ca blog.
- Optimizing the 100. To prioritize their work, the DTO inventoried the 100 most in-demand tasks that citizens do online with the government. They create partnerships across the GC to test the design and content for these tasks. Then, together, they prototype new ways of approaching that content to help improve user success. Each project shows what’s working well, where the mark is amiss and how to scale the project for the whole web community. Things change on the fly; they test and adjust until there is steady improvement. Small changes can make a big difference. Check out the proof!
- Last but not least, words matter. What we say and how we say it matters. People shouldn’t have to re-read a page three times to understand the information or service they need from the government. In consultation with departments, the DTO team developed the Canada.ca style guide. It helps content providers write great content for the web. The guide has extensive research behind its recommendations and tips for getting your message across clearly. It’s a tool you’ll definitely want in your web arsenal.
The web is constantly evolving. Our needs change as devices advance and people become more and more digitally literate. For DTO, it’s about working with departments as partners and designing with users to meet their needs, to make sure that we are all contributing to the digital evolution.
The proof: optimization results from DTO projects and why it matters
- Flu cases result in nearly 12,000 hospitalizations in Canada each year. Canadians need to be able to interpret immunization guidelines easily.
The task success rate increased from 53% to 84%.
- There are thousands of recalls and safety alerts every year. Canadians need to be able to find and understand both recalls and safety alerts for food, health products, vehicles and car seats.
The task success rate increased from 52% to 86%.
- Canada confers citizenship on over 100,000 people each year. Applicants have adapted to a new country, a new culture, and often a new language. Accessing the material they need to study for their citizenship test should be the least of their worries.
The task success rate increased from 69% to 86%.
This is just a sample of DTO’s work with departments to improve content supporting top tasks on Canada.ca – find more project summaries on Canada.ca.
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