Marketplace

Psych 101 Helps Xerox ReEngineer Documents and GTE's inResponse Rescues the Deluged Webmaster

Psych 101 Helps Xerox Re-Engineer Documents

Intimidation, worry and fear are among the negative emotions that state and local tax documents tend to instill in citizens. To get beyond these basic human barriers to compliance, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance hired Xerox Professional Services (XPS), a consulting arm of copier giant Xerox Corp., to redesign its interface with the public. "We have this new behavioral science approach," said Kirk Puterbaugh, Xerox's program manager for document engineering. "If a government puts in the best technology, and all it does is produce output better, faster, cheaper-but the documents they are generating are driving incorrect behavior-what they are doing is making mistakes better, faster and cheaper."

Xerox is targeting state and local agencies where direct interface with the client starts with a document. "Citizens are often intimidated by documents because they are not sure they will be able to successfully complete them," said Mike Spinelli, a Xerox executive consultant. "They fear and worry they will not be able to understand the document. When people start to get into these negative behavioral factors, they have to call for help or they make mistakes, and that costs agencies money in customer service."

Negative reactions to tax documents often kick in before citizens even think about writing checks. New York revamped its tax forms by adding graphical elements and rewording confusing instructions. Both factors played into a 21 percent reduction in the error rate, officials claim.

XPS' human behavior approach led to the agency's use of shading and bolding to better cue recipients. Because people perceive information through three senses-sight, hearing and touch-the group tries to incorporate document changes that convey information accordingly. Auditory instruction might appear as bolding or another font selection, while tactile commands may be conveyed by an illustration of a calendar with a pullout box to show the date a document is due.

XPS stressed that its services go beyond reconstructing outdated documents. "The beauty of our approach is that it is not necessarily document engineering," Spinelli said. "Before we focus on the documents, Xerox tries to address the problems agencies are having operationally."

- Jennifer Jones

*****

GTE's inResponse Rescues the Deluged Webmaster

GTE has unveiled a product that is designed to help government Webmasters manage the burgeoning number of e-mails now jamming agencies' World Wide Web sites. The program, called inResponse, is an e-mail management tool that helps Webmasters respond to e-mail while also routing and tracking electronic inquiries from Web site visitors.

"The problem is universal, whether you are a local, state or federal agency," said Janine Carey, director of Web Solutions at GTE. "You have a large number of people requesting responses via e-mail. The challenge is how you respond to the escalating number of inquiries and retain them so that in the future you can leverage that information."

InResponse is Java-based and runs on Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Solaris (Version 2.5 or greater) and Microsoft Corp.'s Windows NT (Version 3.5 or greater). It requires an Oracle Corp. database (Version 7.3 or higher) for data storage, search and analysis capabilities and a servlet-aware Web server running Java Development Kit (Version 1.1.4 or higher). The product costs about $59,950 per server.

GTE developed inResponse initially for internal corporate use but decided to market it commercially when other organizations-including government agencies-expressed interest in the capability. "InResponse is meant to be a flexible, response management system that can route to dozens of folders in an organization," said James Kane, vice president of business solutions at GTE's Information Systems Division.

The National Partnership for Reinventing Government and the federal General Services Administration are incorporating inResponse in the WebGov project, a single gateway that allows the public to search for federal information across all agency Web sites. Running inResponse, a site will allow users to post questions that will be routed to the most appropriate agency for a response.

InResponse sends inquiries to a pre-established electronic folder, such as a sales folder, rather than a personal e-mail address. The product is particularly suited to tackle complicated requests that impact several units within an agency, Kane added.

InResponse generates a customized form when a user clicks on a Contact Us or For More Information button on a Web page.

The form requests information about the subject of the inquiry and also collects return contact information from the user. After submitting the form, the user receives confirmation that it was received and gets a tracking number for future reference.

"Agencies are trying to gain intimacy with their citizens online. GTE allows you to keep track of various responses from citizens and give a very informed, empathetic answer to citizens. I think that's where state and local agencies are headed," said Carey, adding that GTE will target the state and local market for future sales.

Kana Communications and Mustang Software offer competing products. But GTE has an advantage over the other companies, said Mark Levitt, research director at International Data Corp. "GTE brings its brand name and an expertise outside of this market."

- Colleen O'Hara, reporter for Federal Computer Week

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.