for Italian Public Services
for Italian Public Services
At InfoCamere everyday a group of skilled professionals aggregate and correlate a growing number of information building a digital home for Italian business made by high quality data. What could we do for them? They asked us to improve GeDoc, the software used by Italian Chambers of Commerce to manage documents. After the introduction of the eGovernment Code in Italy, a redesign to meet all new official requirements was a must. And we were ready to face a new challenge happy to help not only InfoCamere and the Public Administration, but all Italian citizens who will need their services from that moment on. Our ace in the hole? This time, definitely interviews!
InfoCamere supports Italian Chambers of Commerce back office activities simplifying, computerising and integrating their information flows improving both organisation and management of internal processes. Thanks to their job and their expertise, the quality of the data and services provided by the Chambers of Commerce to businesses, Public Administrations and professionals is guaranteed.
The main aims of Infocamere are: simplify the processes between businesses and the Public Administration; encourage the growth of a widespread digital culture; help companies to open, grow and become competitive; guarantee everyone has access to up-to-date, official and reliable information.
Through InfoCamere, digital intermediate technology and services became available for the business and professional community, contaminating the working habits of thousands of Italians and stimulating innovation processes in the public administration.
We started our researches with a discovery workshop, as we always do. For us, this is the only way to understand what does not work anymore, for real. We called many employees coming from different departments and with different roles, tasks and seniority levels. Face to face with all of them, we wanted to analyze their workflow trying to find out users’ needs and frustrations. How do they fill documents? Is better organize lists using alphabetical order? Can they easily find what they are looking for? Post-it after post-it, people involved in the workshop shared their knowledge about GeDoc and its users, and the right questions raised by themselves.
What we did
user research, interaction design, information architecture, experience design, usability testing, style guides, ui design
Personas and user stories
Starting from workshop results and findings, we created different proto personas with different roles, tasks and responsibilities representing all different kinds of employee working inside Italian Chambers of Commerce. From Silvio Sportello at the desk ready to give information to professionals, or Renato Responsabile checking, managing and archiving documents in the back office; to Pina Posta in charge of managing mails since twenty years and Piero Protocollo, head of records office or Felice Area, head of general affairs. Is there anybody familiar? After the analysis of user journey focused on documents flow and management, we identified specific user stories for each profile underline actions and functions which would allow users to reach their goals.
GeDoc redesign was a daily discover and the more we worked, the more we realized we had to go further. This is why we decided to hold a series of interviews to know more about the people we were designing for. First of all we drew up a list of questions aiming to investigate both business and research goals such as: usability and look and feel of software interface, market needs, navigation through a large amount of information, daily use of GeDoc, workflow, internal communication and organization, collaboration tools and users’ regulation knowledge.
We recruited 11 employees with different roles from the Chambers of Commerce of Florence, Lecce, Pescare, Rome, Rovigo, and Venice. Interviews transcript and quote selections allowed us to collect precious feedbacks and to have a portrait of InfoCamere working life and know how. Interviews were with no doubts the secret ingredient which gave us the chance to improve both Chambers of Commerce productivity and citizens’ experience, as a consequence.
Information Architecture and wireframes
GeDoc navigation tree was full of contents not always clear and easy to find. Interviews highlighted it was necessary a deep reorganization in order to improve contents sorting and findability. In details, users required a clearer documentation management process in order to make procedures more easy to handle together with the possibility to customize the structure of documents independently. Without passing through sketches we jumped directly to wireframes creation, working broadly on flows step by step in collaboration with InfoCamere’s team and in particular their IT department. Thanks to their contribution, we immediately set the boundaries and limits of technology used, narrowing our field of action.
Prototype and usability tests
Since software look and feel had no big problems according to its institutional and formal soul, we decided to build a rapid low-fi prototype based on wireframes. Eight employees from different Chambers of Commerce located all over the country joint remotely usability tests, helping us to check contents organization and interactions. We collected good feedbacks and we were so happy to see software improvement through users’ eyes.
Design Guide, Best Practice, and Style Guide
What does exactly mean deliver a redesign? And when can we consider a redesign ended? It depends. GeDoc redesign cannot be considered concluded, even after the long and complex work we did. It is a software always in progress, which needs to change and improve together with official regulations, InfoCamere workflow and users’ engagement, beyond our deadline.
This is why we decided to deliver a new way of work. What does it mean? We did not only deliver a series of mockups, but we created a style guide aiming to establish and enforce style and visual communication. The style guide ensures consistency within a design system and across multiple touchpoints and enforces best practice in usage and in language composition, visual composition, orthography and typography.
But it was enough, and we added a design guide providing interfaces standards. Starting from insights emerged during the empathy phase, the guide gives additional tools synthesized through tips, best practices, and information architecture guidelines. Contents focused mainly on micro interactions, usability insight and design patterns. Moreover, it includes general advices about how-to use a user-centered approach together with a rich bibliography.