2 March 2016

User research to improve public-government interactions in the U.S.

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The U.S. federal government needs to improve how it interacts with the public. Enter the Federal Front Door, an initiative to improve public-government interactions across the board.

The team is currently exploring projects to improve the quality of experiences and interactions people have with the government. These include efforts to improve transparency in service design, promote information sharing among agencies, and increase people’s trust in the government.

All the work at Federal Front Door is guided by user research — structured conversations with people from varied populations.

A new research report highlights the lines of inquiry, provides detailed descriptions of what was learned, and raises questions that warrant further study.

We wanted to explore the touch points, pain points, and information-sharing attitudes of all the people who interact with the U.S. federal government. This includes U.S. citizens, but also other people who interact with the government as they travel, immigrate, or conduct business with the United States.

During October and November 2015, we conducted 35 scheduled interviews (each of which was roughly 45 minutes) and 29 short intercept interviews in Jacksonville, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and Sacramento. We also ran a diary study that included seven participants and yielded 52 entries.

The research methodologies supplement provides more information on the interview groups, recruiting scripts, interview scripts, and more.

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