In my blog a few days ago (about the poor design and usability of the New Zealand online Census), drew bundles of feedback and criticism from various quarters.
Comments I received via email and on other websites included:
” I have to agree with the blog – a simple URL is a lot easier to remember and communicate”
“We found some significant issues with the site”
“New pages open without warning”
“I think much of the comments made were superficial”
“Zef’s site failed verification”
” I don’t feel that the census site was that challenging at all. “
Well, despite all this I stand by my original blog – and most user-centred web designers and usability experts I’ve spoken to agree with me.
So I’ve eaten my own dog-food…
I’ve created a quick’n’dirty paper prototype of how the census could have (and should have) been improved.
- Download the PDF (A3 page size, 1Mb) – or view the screenshots below.
Disclaimer: This was done in an hour (I’ve shown just a sample of screens) – it simply follows best practises for online forms… Can you see the difference?
Next Screen (I’ve called it ‘Step 1’)
Next Screen (I’ve called it ‘Step 2’)
Next Screen (I’ve called it ‘Step 3’)
I skipped a couple of screens here, as I couldn’t face filling out the online census again! (My ‘Step 4’ would have provided a preview of the census form, allowing users to track back if they’d made an error).
My Confirmation Screen (‘Step 5’)
- PDF version of my prototype (A3 page size, 1Mb)
What do you think of my alternative designs? (I’m especially keen to hear from people who completed the actual census online – how was it for you?) Post a comment below…
2 thoughts on “A Cultivated Census”
Just to prove that Government agencies ARE capable of doing a good job I recommend a visit to http://transact.landtransport.govt.nz/ – here the process of registering your car is a breeze – and a fine example of how webforms should be approached (for both task-flow and visual design).
i much prefer your version. the census form didn’t load for me. took too long so i gave up :-/
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