The Government is overseeing changes to the Department of Human Services website that will ensure the online experience for people seeking information is simpler, clearer and faster.

The department has worked closely with the Plain English Foundation and the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) to improve the readability of payment information and update the site’s design and interaction experience.

Following a successful first-stage (Alpha) assessment against the DTA’s Digital Service Standard, a new site design is now moving into a public trial phase (Beta).

The trial site was launched alongside the existing website on 28 June. Site users are encouraged to go to the new site, try out the new design and provide feedback on their experience.

This feedback is important to help us ensure the new site enables people to access the information they need quickly and easily and is an improvement on the previous site.

The Website Reform project started in January. The site’s improved design is the result of engagement with web, content and service design specialists as well as more than 2,500 community members, staff and third parties from a broad spectrum of social and cultural backgrounds.

Minister for Human Services, Alan Tudge said the site’s overhaul was designed to ease demand on telephony services and to make it easier for Australians to find information online at a time and place that suits them.

“We’re excited to be working with the Plain English Foundation and the DTA to create a website that makes it easier for people to find the information they need, when they need it, thereby reducing the demand on call and service centres,” Minister Tudge said.

“Many people call Centrelink for basic information that is available online – simple and user-friendly online information will help them find this info online next time and the positive responses we’re receiving through early testing is very encouraging.

“We’re looking forward to the public trial which will give people the opportunity to share their thoughts before we go live.”

The Website Reform project is just one element of our service delivery transformation – it also includes the billion dollar WPIT programme, new $600 million telephony system, claiming processes streamlining, 250 new call centre staff and other measures to reduce call wait times.

Source © Commonwealth of Australia 2014 Transcript used for reporting News