Olga Khvan
eGov—Electronic government
of Kazakhstan

eGov is a unified online platform where people can find information and services from the government of Kazakhstan. Through eGov users can:
Get general information about government structure and institutions
Order digital services from government (e.g. special certificates, register marriage, register LLP etc.)
Book an appointment at government institutions
Pay for government fines and fees
Access personal digital documents such as passport and ID
Sign documents and contracts using digital signature
Senior designer
Team management, Information architecture, Design system, Wireframes, Prototyping and testing, User interface, meeting with a client (including regular presentations, working on comments, co-design workshops, focus groups)

February 2019–June 2019 (the team is still working on the project)

100K active users during the first month
How might we create a seamless experience for users while using any government websites?

Project goals
Our goal was to make it easy for users to navigate to any part of government online system, link all the parts of government websites together (ministries, city administrations, online services, etc.). Re-think and Improve the experience of getting online services through both web and mobile apps.
As for the government, with the help of a unified web and mobile system (both design and technical parts), it would save a huge amount of money as they would not have to create websites from scratch and pay for its maintenance separately.

Kazakhstan government has different departments: country level, region level, city level. Also, there are ministries that are responsible for certain spheres (economy, education, industry, finances, etc.). Citizens on a regular basis get various services from the government like receiving personal documents or registering the marriage, retrieve information about certain cases, seek for a job in government companies, etc. There are places like city service centers, city government offices, ministries where people can get this or that information or services. Still, they are all spread across the city and country. Even on the internet different parts of government websites are assumed as standalone sources, so for users it takes time and effort to find the information they want.

Target audience
The two biggest segments of users are Individuals and Businesses. We mainly focused on individuals.

Age: 18–40
Most of the users are Kazakhstan citizens, but there are some users from other countries, as internationals can also get some of the services through the portal.

Analysis and insights
We interviewed the main parties from the side of government to understand what are their main goals of creating this product. There were few certain organizations that were responsible for maintaining government digital products, so we also met with them on a regular basis to show the status and gather comments about the work.

As the platform was already existing, we first started by analyzing the previous platform and see what are the existing problems. We looked through:
  • Google and Yandex analytics
  • Services statistics for the past few years
  • User reviews
  • Usability testings
We synthesized the information we gathered during our research process and came up with certain categories of service which have to be improved. We also tried to understand how can we incorporate new things into the existing parts.
Mental model
After that, we defined roughly the information architecture of the product and started writing
Before starting working on the detailed Information Architecture, we defined very general mental model for the system's main actors.
Then we refined the Information Architecture (IA) in digital version. As work on the product went by, we came back to IA several times to add new parts, or to re-arrange some of the elements. Of course, the further we went, the less and minor changes were made to IA.
We confirmed the structure with the client and prioritized which parts would go to the first release and created the first wireframes of the main parts. At this point, I was more responsible for the Mobile app.

We did the usability testing of the wireframes, refined them and came up with the low-fidelity prototype.
As our manager accepted all that work, the programming team worked on the first build of the app.

On a regular basis, we tested our application with different focus groups and our stakeholders too. During the process, some of the things have changed comparing to what we had in the beginning. For instance, even though there were a lot of items and categories in menu, it was more convenient for users to use Tab bar for navigation.
At the same point, another part of the team worked on the website's wireframes and interfaces. All this work helped us to understand the overall scope of different components and things that this platform will include, so we also started working on the design system.
Design system
Results & key takeaways
Our team launched the first re-designed version of mobile app in October 2019 and there were about 100K users for the first month. The team continues working on the product, refining and adjusting it to what users need. The overall reaction was positive and users are really happy with some of the features (like Biometrical sign in and digital documentation). The web version of e-gov is still in beta-testing mode and will be released during the year of 2020.

Some of the things I've taken away while working on this project:
It's never enough research. I wish we could also spend some time observing people in context at government service centers and see their main problems, understand which problems could be solved with digital product.
Work tightly with Development team. While creating the Design system, the idea of which is basically inherited from Programming paradigm of atomic design (components and objects). Working together with development team helped us to understand which methods do they use in their code and design in the way, which would be convenient for all of us.
Collaborate and co-design with stakeholders. Co-design workshops with our client (government) helped us to gather some of the important insights, which we haven't thought about before.