The public sector must build on user-friendliness


Five specific analyses commence collaboration across authorities for improved digital user journeys. The objective is to ensure more cohesive user journeys for citizens and enterprises in their dealings with the public sector, e.g. in connection with moving or starting-up new businesses.

The common public sector digital strategy 2016-2020 focuses on creating a more user-friendly, coordinated and simple digital public sector. Citizens and businesses will meet a more coherent service when they need to deal with matters that involve several public sector bodies. This could for example be in connection with moving to a new address, a divorce, setting up a business or when a citizen or business needs to get started on using NemID (the Danish digital signature/eID solution) and receiving letters from the public sector digitally.

Ms. Nina Husfeldt Clasen, Head of the Division for Concept Development Projects, is very clear about why the public sector needs to get involved with user-friendliness across digital solutions.

“The public sector must be familiar with the needs of its users and must be able to support these needs,” emphasised Ms. Clasen. “Both because we have an obligation to deliver a good, coherent experience, and because it’s expensive when, for example, citizens have to call the authority to understand what they have to do next, or if they simply want to be sure that we have received their application.”

Even small initiatives have great effects

One of the areas that need to be examined is reporting a move. For many people moving is not just about calling the movers and reporting a change of address to the relevant public authorities. A move often also entails many other matters such as finding a new doctor, a new school or daycare for the children, applying for housing support and reporting your new commute to work to the Danish Customs and Tax Administration so you can deduct your expenses for travel.
Every year more than one million moves are made in Denmark. Just over 50 pct. of these moves are from one municipality to another. With this many moves, even small improvements will make life easier for a great number of people and improve their overall user experience. Therefore several authorities who are experienced in the moving area have joined forces. Together with other experienced stakeholders, these authorities have begun to analyse the area, and the first ideas for areas to work on are expected to be ready in spring 2017.

“The public sector has been working with user-friendliness for many years - with differing levels of success, we must admit,” explained Ms. Tina Windeløv Myrhøj Draminsky, Project Manager and Senior Adviser. “So of course we need to be better in this area. What is new here is that we are looking at the user-friendliness of matters that deal with several different authorities and online self-service solutions. And there is no one single authorised method for doing so. So, in addition to establishing good common public sector collaboration, we need to think innovatively and to adapt the methods available such as service design thinking and co-creation with stakeholders. By seeing things from the outside, we will understand the users better and thereby be able to create more coherent digital user journeys. And then we need to stand together and share responsibility for improving the cohesion between solutions and thus think more across the authorities involved.”

Five analyses as a starting point

In parallel with the analysis of the moving area, analyses have been launched in four other areas:

  • Divorce
  • Starting up or closing a business
  • Services for foreign enterprises
  • Easier use of and administration of the common public-sector components NemID, Digital Post and NemLog-in.

The five analyses are the first steps in the public sector’s efforts to ensure user-friendliness across the entire public sector.

“When working with these first five analyses, we will undoubtedly uncover other areas where things can be improved. Hopefully, we will learn a few lessons that can serve as guidance for how the public sector can best create cohesive digital user journeys in the future - and how we can measure and document the improvements we make,” said Ms. Draminsky.

Read more about the initiative More cohesive user journeys here (link in Danish)