The primary objectives of the seminar are to highlight academic and practical approaches to online usability and public sector service delivery, in order to increase the awareness of the importance of online usability, and to provide input for summary reports recommendations on potential ways for Latvian authorities to improve online service delivery.
The seminar was organised and hosted by the Latvian School of Public Administration (VAS) on behalf of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (VARAM), 12-13 September 2017 in Riga (Latvia). Participants included portal staff with both technical and editorial responsibilities, project managers, and policy and decision makers from across the VARAM and its agencies. Originally, 25 participants were expected to attend, but due to popular demand, it was agreed to allow for an additional 2 participants to join on an observation basis (i.e. with no certificate issued).
The project consist of two elements:
a two-day training seminar and brainstorming exercise and, a post-seminar summary report containing policy recommendations.
Following the brief and good practice analysis of the national approach to online usability and national one-stop-portals pursued in Denmark, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Portugal, the report summarises the seminar discussions and recommendations. The objective is to outline how Latvian authorities could improve usability of online service delivery – and in particular how participants link the strengths and weaknesses of the four cases to the Latvian context. Finally, the summary report provides recommendations on how Latvian authorities could establish a set of usability requirements for public portals, websites and eServices, a process to ensure compliance with the requirements as well as a model for e.g. a national one-stop-portal.
The primary objective of the post-seminar summary report is to recommend potential ways for Latvian authorities to improve online service delivery. The report does so based on the academic and practical expert recommendations on online usability, the four case examples presented, and participants’ brainstorming sessions and discussions.
The four examples from Denmark, the United Kingdom, the United States and Portugal contain both strengths and weaknesses in their approaches to online usability and public sector service delivery. The key learning outcome is an increased understanding of the interrelated elements and the dynamics at play when it comes to usability and the cost benefit of good online usability. This includes the importance of applying a good and suitable process to facilitate good online usability, the importance of channels strategies, the coordination of different service delivery channels and exchange of information between these (i.e. indirect feedback loops), and last but not least, how to implement such channel strategies.