Tilburg Municiplaity

Individual project

Research and improvement of the contact form to reduce the costs of the calls to municipality

research, usability evaluation, ux × 2014
  • 4 months in total
  • My contribution: usability evaluation, user research, form redesign

Challenge

Tilburg municipality was implementing innovative solutions in order to deliver better services to their citizens, become more user-centric and involve citizens into making the city better. The citizens of Tilburg can call the municipality for free, thus the municipality was paying for those calls, and wanted to lower the costs. A goal in this situation was to make citizens solve their issues independently using the website in addition to the existing top task infrastructure. AppFlavors was offering a list of suggestions on how to improve the website and services.

Process

In order to offer suggestions the initial research was done, including the web site data analysis, interviews with the citizens and a media director, and a usability review of the forms. All the suggestions belong to three categories: usability improvements, personalization with UXsuite and promotion of the mobile apps; suggestions are also divided into two parts: “quick wins” and structural improvements.

Quick wins

“Quick wins” are the mostly small or very important fixes that affect users’ behavior:

  • personalize the content based on the behavioral patterns (e.g. offer to get back to form if a visitor comes to the contact page with an unfinished form);
  • employ the usability improvements, including better usage of white space, redesigning the calendar, and changing the wording to create trust or emphasize important things;
  • emphasize the advantages of the form over calls;
  • place the button leading to, for example, an appointment form on the contact page;
  • emphasize the report (“melding”) form;
  • adjust the layout to seasonal changes;
  • leave the phone number only on the contact page.

Structural improvements

The structural improvements require deeper research or a lot more time to carry out. They include implementing more efficient web analytics tool, getting to know the trends in calls, conducting more research on users’ behavior and find more patterns, making use of the mobile apps, handling emergency situations, create a feedback form, redesigning the website information architecture as well as paper letters, and creat- ing an English version of the website.

  • Adopt a more efficient web analytics tool.
  • Conduct a deeper research on why people call.
  • Find out other (more complex) patterns for personalization.
  • Promote the use of the mobile apps as a replacement for calling.
  • Handle the emergencies by adjusting the tools (e.g. CMS system) and the website layout.
  • Put the feedback form on the website. Redesign the information architecture. Create an English version of the website.
Suggestions for change seem very applicable at this moment, at the beginning of our project. All in all a job well done. Michiel Duijsings, communication advisor at Tilburg municipality

The proposal turned out to be a solid document with the specific suggestions on how to solve different problems, some of which are ready to be implemented. It is sent to the municipality and requires approval from the management.