Envisioning Advanced User Interfaces for E-Government Applications: A Case Study
In Practical Studies in E-Government. Best Practices from Around the World. pages 205-228. 2011.
S. Assar, I. Boughzala, I. Boydens (Eds.)
The increasing use of the Web as a software platform together with the advance of
technology has promoted Web applications as a starting point for improving the
communication between citizens and administration. Currently, several egovernment
Web portals propose applications for accessing information regarding
healthcare, taxation, registration, housing, agriculture, education, and social
services, which otherwise may be difficult to obtain. However, the adoption of
services provided to citizens depends upon how such applications comply with the
users’ needs. Unfortunately, building an e-government web site doesn’t guarantee
that all citizens who come to use it can access its contents. These services need to be
accessible to all citizens/customers equally to ensure wider reach and subsequent
adoption of the e-government services. User disabilities, computer or language
illiteracy (e.g., foreign language), flexibility on information access (e.g., user
remotely located in rural areas, homeless, mobile users), and ensuring user privacy on sensitive data are some of the barriers that must be taken into
account when designing the User Interface (UI) of e-government applications.
Although several initiatives (such as the W3C WAI) focus on how
to promote usability and accessibility of content provided via e-government, many
governments are enhancing their technology to make their services compatible with
new communication channels available through multiple devices including
interactive digital TVs (iTV), personal digital assistants (PDAs), and mobile phones.
In this chapter we focus on this latter issue, which means the development of
multi-target government services available across several platforms. Hereafter we
discuss the major constraints underlining the importance of investment on the UI’s
design of e-government applications. Moreover, we propose a framework for
envisioning advanced UIs where the adaptation to the user’s capabilities, and
available devices as well as physical and social environment will play a major role.