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Your say on mobile apps

In September 2012, the Department of Human Services sought feedback, insights, and ideas on how we can use apps and mobile technology to meets your needs and preferences.

Mobile applications (mobile apps) are ‘add on’ applications that you download and install on your smart phone, tablet and other mobile devices. Some apps are free, while some cost money. There are apps for almost anything, including doing your banking, monitoring your health, providing weather information, and playing games. Government departments are now looking at how we too can use this technology to make things easier for you to do business with us.

Over 1000 customers and staff were involved in the online discussion. Discussion topics focussed on the types of services you would like to be able to access using apps, additional features that could be added (reminders, calendars, checklists etc), future technology that could impact in this space, and the key factors which determine whether you use an app or not. We also asked participants to complete a short survey on how you currently use apps and your preferences for a Human Services app.

We received lots of valuable feedback and suggestions about the information and transactions you would like to access via an app.

You told us that a simple and easy to use design was important as are considerations around cost, data usage and storage size of apps. You also told us that it is important that we get it right from the start as few people provide feedback or ratings on apps, and you are more likely to uninstall an app than you are to ask for assistance if you encounter an issue.

You also told us it’s important that new technologies such as mobile apps are additional options that you can use, but that you still want to be able to call us or visit an office in some circumstances. We also received some great suggestions on how apps could be used to support and enhance the services we provided in offices and via our call centres.

Your input has once again helped us to ensure we are designing services that meet your needs and expectations. Your feedback and suggestions were taken on board when designing the Express Plus Job Seekers and Express Plus Families mobile apps, and was used to develop a strategy about how we will continue to use apps and mobile technology in to the future.