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OMB is building an analytics tool to track customer experience performance across agency sites

The Office of Management and Budget is building analytics tools to track agencies’ use of the U.S. web design system, the country’s top federal IT official said Thursday, representing the Biden administration’s latest step in its push to modernize government digital services

Speaking at the ACT-IAC/DCI CX Summit in Arlington, Va., federal CIO Clare Martorana said the tools will measure the effectiveness of federal agency websites’ customer experience capabilities. The move from OMB, which is leveraging the General Services Administration’s site scanner program to use performance indicators in the tracking of agencies’ site developments, follows its September guidance on “Delivering a Digital-First Public Experience.” 

“It’s not a one-size-fits-all [approach], because each agency is at its own place in its modernization journey,” Martorana said. “But these are the core competencies of any digital interaction. U.S. web design system is the law. It’s not optional. That’s why I keep reiterating about agencies not designing these bespoke experiences.”

Martorana stressed the importance of agencies’ creating digital services with customers in mind, citing inefficiencies such as when the “search is below the fold, and login is on the left side instead of the right side.” She called to standardize agencies’ use of the web design system so that customers encounter “best practices of any digital experience.”

“The end goal is us meeting the needs of our customers and helping agencies as they’re on their journey,” Martorana said. “Making sure that we’re working effectively with these agencies, meet them where they are, help them understand these analytics to help them improve performance.”

Scanning and understanding federal agencies’ use of resources like data are “baseline and cornerstone objectives” of how OMB is measuring digital performance. Martorana said that utilizing these tools with the GSA allows further fine-tuning and performance optimization for individual organizations.

“Vendors can actually become experts in this system and really guide agencies along the path to implementation,” Martorana said. “To me, that is such an opportunity. If I were running a company, that’s what I’d be trying to upskill my team, make sure that I was training my staff, all my interactions with my partners were focused on utilizing this framework, that is a best practice, and then improving that framework.”

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