What’s next for ATO Beta?

12 April 2017

We've been doing this usability testing thing for a while now, and we've learnt a lot along the way.

The idea behind ATO Beta was to help improve users' digital interactions with the ATO. It allows members of the community to ‘test-drive’ ideas and see how they hold up before they’re introduced to our main site.

Many of the concepts tested are based on feedback from the community.

We tested a lot of new ideas over the last year and we couldn’t have done it without your help – nearly 1000 people trialled Alex the virtual assistant, and we made big changes to the ATO app based on your feedback.

You’ve also helped us make some important changes and discoveries, like figuring out how to build better menus on ato.gov.au, and finding ways to make it easier for people to get help when they need it.

With your input and feedback, we’ve been able to constantly refine what we do and the way we work.

Now, we want to share what we've learnt with you...

We’ll be using the ATO Beta Blog to share test results, and show how your input is helping create a better digital experience for everyone. We’ll also be discussing how usability testing can help you, and providing some simple tips and tricks for designing services and running your own tests.

Here’s a little taste:

15 things we’ve learnt in the past 12 months

  1. "It’s not always about numbers. Sometimes one person can say something that will have a huge impact on the design.” – Alana, User Researcher
  2. “We don’t always know what users need or want – only they do. That’s why you need to test!” – Kate, Service Designer
  3. “People don’t choose to interact with government services, they have to – but we can make those experiences delightful.” – Phil, Scrum Master
  4. “There is an art to asking the right questions.” – Camila, Digital Designer
  5. “There is no wrong answer. Everyone’s input is valuable.” – Andrew, Experience and UI Designer
  6. “Don’t assume, test.” – Clara, Digital Designer
  7. “Be prepared to be surprised.” – Clay, Content Designer
  8. “Good communication is always important.” – Abid, Scrum Master
  9. “Go with the flow – inspect, adapt, improve.” – Jay, Design Analyst
  10. “Make sure you plan out everything you need to do before you start.” – Hilary, Experience Design Analyst
  11. “When designing and testing, breaking down tasks takes the stress away.” – Cohen, Experience Designer
  12. “Collaborating with people with different skillsets is a great way to improve productivity.” – Allen, Digital Content Strategist
  13. “Make sure you understand the problem before you try to fix it.” – Lyle, Product Owner
  14. “Sometimes you need to design with your heart, not with your head.” – Charlene, Design Grad
  15. “If you have to explain a user interface, it’s not very good.” – Leana, User Researcher

If you want to be part of the ATO Beta community, subscribe below and we’ll keep you in the loop. We’ll let you know when there is a new test to try or a blog post to read. With your help, we can deliver real change for the community.

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