How a resident engagement platform brings equity, accessibility, and sustainability to digital government services

Government agencies need a solution that can truly serve all residents, but when you’re designing for everyone, it takes a lot of thought — and the prioritization of great digital experiences for underserved populations.

For agencies hoping to create meaningful change, Public Sector Network recently hosted a webinar discussing the challenges agencies face regarding equity, resident engagement, and inclusive digital experiences.

PayIt’s SVP of Operations, Jean Nobile, joined Cielo Medel, Chief Information Officer at the City of Mississauga, and Ron Boaz, the Manager of Digital Channels at the City of Vancouver, as a panelist.

Here are a few highlights of the webinar (you can find the full recording here):

Moving toward a world where everyone can be served digitally

Often, accessibility features are an afterthought — leaving people using screen readers, for example, out of the digital experience. By embracing a human-centered design approach, PayIt prioritizes accessibility features right from the beginning, ensuring that individuals using assistive technologies are included in the digital experience.(Thanks to a user-first approach, PayIt is committed to continuous improvement, constantly iterating and refining its accessibility features.)

Along with accessibility features, panelists emphasized enjoyable digital services for everyone. Improving customer satisfaction is a perpetual goal for agencies. They discussed providing residents with:

  • Personalized, local info such as closed roads and garbage pick-up schedules
  • A better digital search experience
  • Making in-person payments digital, so residents can self-serve no matter where they pay

All the panelists agreed that government agencies have made huge strides in leveling up their digital services but noted that continued transformation is a big (sometimes complicated) task.

Each panelist had big goals and a big vision for digital services — and touched on how that would positively impact not only their residents but also the staff.

Agencies benefit by taking a user-first approach

Agencies have the opportunity to drive channel shift and build trust by prioritizing the design of user-friendly digital services. An easy-to-use platform minimizes the need for support calls, taking some burden off of front-line workers and allowing staff to be reallocated to other important projects.

With the ability to collect revenue faster and save money on things like fees and staff time associated with PCI compliance, the panelists agreed that this allows agencies to free up time and money for other community initiatives, changing and improving community interactions.

For agency employees, there’s less manual work and a more manageable process for reconciling accounts, making their day-to-day much more enjoyable.

Advice for agencies

Each panelist brought years of experience to the discussion and had some great final thoughts for government agencies:

  • Time is valuable, so start with user needs: listen, and engage residents in the builds
  • Accessibility is fundamental
  • Work quickly, in small chunks, and adjust from there

To learn more (and get more real-world advice), check out the full webinar:

Get the full webinar recording

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