Here are service principles that will guide our work throughout the Interoperability Transformation Initiative. They are rooted in industry practice, user research and extensive experience in service delivery among the interoperability team.
- Understand users and their needs through research. Make the service simple to use and test it with users to make sure it works for them in many contexts, such as on mobile or on slow internet connections.
- Solve a whole problem for users. A lot of our services solve part of a problem. These fragmented solutions can be expedient but ultimately are difficult to use and to maintain. Instead, work across organizational boundaries to solve problems holistically; start small and deliver value to users incrementally and frequently.
- Provide a cohesive experience across all channels. Work towards creating a service that meets users’ needs across all channels, including online, phone, paper and face to face. Users shouldn’t have an inferior experience because they lack access to technology or the skills to use it. Additionally, be consistent with UW Brand guidelines, which creates a cohesive experience across the university; every interaction contributes to users’ trust in the institution.
- Make sure everyone can use the service. Provide a service that everyone can use, including people with disabilities. If your service is not accessible, it’s not usable. Also, consider low-tech or no-tech users.
- Have a multidisciplinary team and assign a leader. Put in place a multidisciplinary team that can create and operate the service in a sustainable way, led by a service owner with decision-making authority.
- Iterate and improve frequently. Make sure you have the capacity, resources and technical flexibility to iterate and improve the service frequently. User testing and interviews are key to making improvements as you iterate.
- Create a secure service which protects users’ privacy. Evaluate what data the service will be collecting, storing and providing, and consult with experts about security level, privacy concerns and risks associated with the service.
- Define what success looks like and publish performance data. Determine what performance indicators make sense for your service and make it available.
- Choose the right tools and technology. Understand the total cost of ownership of the technology and preserve the ability to make different choices in the future. Make choices that allow you to adapt your technology as your understanding of how to meet user needs changes.
- Be open. Make systems, data, and infrastructure understandable and readily accessible. Allow partners to contribute easily, and enable reuse. When we collaborate in the open, we can improve IT together.
- Operate a reliable service. Minimize service downtime and have a plan to deal with it when it does happen. Know how users will be affected if your service goes down and ensure that service availability is communicated, users are supported and that we learn from outages.
- Test the service end-to-end, and test with the service leader. Individual parts of the service might work in a controlled environment, but understand how they work in real life and how they fit together. The service leader should know what every part of every interaction looks like, on all common browsers and devices. Have test accounts to test as students.
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