Government sector must improve digital experience

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Monday, 11 May 2015 17:58pm

The government sector has been found to deliver the worst digital experiences of a range of Australian industries in a new report by consulting firm Ernst & Young, the EY State of the Nation Report 2014.

Man's left hand resting on a laptop keyboard, next to an iPhone and a pair of sunglasses

The report, which makes the case that Australia’s digital economy is lagging other nations’, finds that consumers readily differentiate between good and bad online experiences.

Examining good digital experiences, the report finds that entertainment-focused industries tended to be rated by consumers as having the best for digital experiences —TV, films and media (rated number one at 26 per cent); entertainment (rated number two at 25 per cent); and travel (rated number three at 24 per cent).

Importantly, particularly in light of the pending launch of the Digital Transformation Office, the Government sector was rated by consumers, and by a large margin, as having the worst digital experiences (31 per cent). Utilities and gambling were tied for second and third worst by consumers (20 per cent), followed by insurance in fourth place (17 per cent).

Discussing the findings, the report’s authors state that there is a noticeable trend in which consumers are becoming more discerning and critical of the online experiences they encounter. As a consequence, there is a need for more fundamental improvements in the digital experiences industries provide.

“Consumers report significant differences between their best and worst experiences. While it may be predictable that enjoyment/ lifestyle sectors head the list, the divide is nonetheless pronounced and underlines the opportunity for organisations in the sectors that lag to differentiate by challenging conventions in their category,” the report’s authors state.

“To date, no industry has escaped digital disruption unscathed, and that disruption will continue via both revolutionary new competitors and evolution of consumer preferences. Consumer expectations around good and bad service evolve every day as their online education continues and comfort levels increase. Elements such as website ease-of-use and navigation have become must-haves…”

Media Access Australia CEO Alex Varley said the report’s findings were further evidence that organisations needed to adopt best practice and make their digital experiences accessible to all consumers.

“Digital accessibility—making sure that websites and online services can be accessed by people with a disability as well as many other groups—is paramount in creating the world-class digital experiences Australians need and want.

“And digital experiences have to be world-class, because through the web, consumers can literally go anywhere in the world to source what they want.

“Netflix, through its great digital experience, and through its recognition of the value of digital accessibility—by providing captions on all its content, and increasingly providing audio description—is a model that many organisations could benefit from adopting.”

Web accessibility advice

Media Access Australia, Australia’s only independent not-for-profit organisation devoted to increasing access to media for people with a disability, works with public—and private—sector organisations to improve their digital accessibility.

Through its digital accessibility services, Media Access Australia supplies professional services around improving the accessibility of online documentswebsite accessibilityorganisation-wide accessibility strategy as well as professional development in accessibility.

Media Access Australia also helps increase inclusion through its thought leadership and research in important areas such as social media accessibilityservice provision for people with disabilities and cloud computing and mobile accessibility.

If you’re part of an organisation looking to create greater digital inclusion, contact Media Access Australia by calling (02) 9212 6242 or complete the enquiry form on our Contact page for more information.

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