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How Colorado is Crafting New User Experiences

Colorado is offering all its services in one application that its citizens can conveniently use on their mobile devices, according to the state’s chief customer officer (CCO).

William Chumley adds that myColorado will ultimately include user-friendly tools for tasks such as registering new businesses, filing taxes and securing digital driver’s licenses.

“We’re trying to get a more consistent directory of these,” he said on Wednesday while discussing the applications offered by Colorado’s various agencies. “One stop for all Colorado government services is our plan and hope.”

Chumley was speaking during GovLoop’s virtual summit about how state and local governments can enhance their user experience (UX) offerings for their citizens.

UX centers on how people feel about the practicality, design, experience and value of a product, service or system.

According to Chumley, Colorado launched myColorado in January 2019 to make the state’s many agency websites more user-friendly and create a one-stop shop for their services.

“What we’ve started to do is clean up our websites,” said Chumley, who works in Colorado’s Office of Information Technology (OIT). “We want to drive state government searches to one place and make it easier, quicker and relevant for the user’s experience.”

Despite Colorado’s goals, however, consolidating the state’s disparate digital applications is easier said than done.

OIT currently supports more than 1,000 applications, and there are about 300 IT projects the agency is handling at any time.

Beyond that, OIT also serves more than 31,000 state employees in 3,100 locations across Colorado despite having roughly 1,000 employees at 71 offices statewide.

Chumley said that for many of Colorado’s agencies, the biggest challenge is getting their staff used to delivering public services digitally rather than physically like they did before.

“We have to transform the technology,” he said. “We have both a lot of inertia and cynicism from the staff internally about whether it’s going to work. It’s always about security and privacy from a citizen perspective.”

For instance, take Colorado’s digital driver’s licenses. As identification documents, they must verify a person’s identity without sacrificing their privacy and security.

“We want this to meet state and national standards for improving identity,” Chumley said of the service, which will eventually debut on myColorado. “We feel that people will be more open to this type of service even though it’s a little bit scary.”

Making citizens adopt digital driver’s licenses, however, involves them working for such routine identity checks as traffic stops.

Digital driver’s licenses that fail in such moments, Chumley continued, won’t meet the needs of Colorado’s citizens.

“We have to have all the systems enabled to make this realistic,” he said. “Lots of things like that are moving in that direction. It leverages folks who already live their lives on their phones.”

Besides functionality, privacy and security, what else matters for citizens’ UX in Colorado? Chumley added that keeping people interested in state services is also critical.

“Is this the coolest thing?” he asked. “If no one uses it, what’s it going to matter? How do you get people to download and implement something? There’s also a convenience factor. It’s making people happier with government services.”

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