Usability in government internal systems


Hei! I am from Latvia and teaching UX class for government professionals. Maybe you can success stories about improving usability of internal governemt systems? Especially interested in tips and tricks how to handle persons resistance because of “got used”. Thanks in advance!


Hi there

This is a good podcast from Gerry Gaffney on designing a Jury Management system.

This could be relevant to you.

Also I remember the UK government putting a lot of resources into Usability, you could search for that also.



hi @ksenija_lace
I was in the same situation you described in your post.
We were working on a huge intranet for a large public organisation.

We had to face two main problems:

  1. According to the contract the final product it had to be fully accessible. In Italy, we have a law with 22 checkpoints to satisfy
  2. most of the stakeholders don’t have the will to put effort and energies in learning new way to maintain and update the platform

what we found very engaging to increase the commitment from their side was come up with real examples of websites/web app with a low usability level. We asked them to accomplish a task on such websites and then they realised the real added value of consistency and accessibility rules.

I hope it will be up to your alley


Thank you!


@alessandro_molinaro did you work on goverment internal systems?


Hi all, the UK Government has developed a pretty nice guidelines that you should follow (in a flexible way) when designing something for them. (It covers the whole process)

It’s really interesting, honestly I do not agree with some assumptions, but that’s irrelevant.

there is also a dedicated section for design patterns.

Unfortunately, I cannot speak of the project I was involved in but the guideline is public, you’ll find just googleing it, but I’ll spare you the time. Here the link


One last thing (sorry, this morning I was a bit in hurry).
In approaching difficult clients/stakeholders, I found very useful to explain in detail every choices that has been made, possibly quoting studies or researches.
People usually tend to trust more what is written rather than words, so if you give them something they could check (even if usually no one does, and it’s a pity) they feel more comfortable in trying new approaches (the expert say so, and there is a paper about that! …power of an opinion leader…)

Engaging them in the process, showing how things change in better as Dopamino suggested is a great point, and if you succeed in doing it, it will be easier in the further steps (you gained their trust! :slight_smile: )
P.s. Thanks @jacquidow (I’ ve been lazy lately…)


I worked in a Singapore government agency for 4 years, and though I only knew a little about UX back then, I was involved in the building of internal systems. Resistance to change is real and tough. This is because the government employees regard their work as important in real time, and many times, it is. They would rather stick to old and less efficient ways, as they can’t afford to take the risk of messing up their work temporarily while learning about the new way of doing things.

Based on my experience, there are several strategies to get user buy-in for a new system in such an environment:

  1. Show evidence that the new system will actually improve their work efficiency and/or effectiveness, either by statistics from user tests or giving examples of where it has worked for other agencies.

  2. Ease their transition into the new system, providing intermediate steps to transit from the old to the new so that it’s not a one-time big change, and assure them that there is a fail-safe to fall back to the old system if the new system doesn’t work.

  3. Get the managers’/decision makers’ buy-in. They are usually more forward-looking, and if you can prove the usefulness of new systems and processes to them, they can convince/enforce their employees to adopt it.