To improve and prioritize the development and delivery of digital services to GSA's diverse set of customers, GSA’s Digital Services Group (DSG) is tasked with identifying business needs, prioritizing digital strategy investments, and identifying areas for mobile optimization and where overlaps and redundancies can be eliminated. The DSG is informed in its decision-making through communications with customers, audits of the purpose and function of existing digital services, and analysis of web metrics, customer feedback, and customer satisfaction surveys. Currently 22 GSA websites participate in the Digital Analytics Program. Utilizing GSA’s IT Investment Review Process, the Enterprise Architecture Committee and the DSG will provide oversight to ensure digital services adhere to the Guidelines for Improving Digital Services and Customer Experience at www.howto.gov.
The use of mobile devices by government web visitors, from smart phones to tablets, has dramatically accelerated in the past year. Our government customers, commercial suppliers, news media, and the general public interested in GSA activities now expect their digital relationship with the agency to be conveniently available anywhere, anytime on these devices.
GSA recognized the growing need to support the delivery of web information and services suitably prepared and formatted for mobile devices. Using Google Analytics, we saw a steady increase in traffic to www.gsa.gov from mobile devices, both smart phones and tablets. This rise in mobile device access is despite the fact that using our current full site on a smart phone still poses many obstacles. Anecdotal feedback and visitor responses articulated the demand of our audience for a better mobile experience. In 2012, we created a survey that recognized when someone accessed www.gsa.gov with a mobile phone or tablet. In the survey, we asked simply about the purpose of their visit. We collected almost 3,000 responses. Not surprisingly, the per diem and travel information topped the list, but interesting variations in priority were found comparing phone and tablet visitors.
Near Term Plans
We are now using the in-depth capabilities of Google Analytics to track the top pages accessed specifically by mobile devices. We are able to identify topics and tasks that our audiences are looking for. The information architecture of our mobile site has been shaped by this analysis. We further refined the content plan with our understanding of GSA's agency priorities and industry best practices for presenting mobile content. Once the mobile site is launched, we anticipate a continuous expansion and further refinement based on analysis of ongoing metrics collection, program office requests, and agency priorities.