What We Learned about Web Usability and Satisfaction from Healthcare.gov

Marketing research firm Change Sciences has been monitoring the Healthcare.gov website since its launch, and released a new infographic on December 17, 2013 detailing the shift in user experiences after the federal government made improvements to the website in November. During the early days of the Healthcare.gov launch, the website was plagued with various usability issues and downtime, which prevented citizens from registering for coverage. The following data illustrates valuable trends in accessibility, clarity, and engagement that any organization can learn and benefit from, especially if you are launching services to an online audience.

Audience Happiness

Change Sciences learned that 32% of users felt like Healthcare.gov had improved after the November fixes were completed. This score is a culmination of 15 questions measuring factors such as likelihood to convert, engagement, design and usability. A majority of users, 72%, were able to successfully complete the healthcare quote process, demonstrating that one of this site’s main features is working. How likely is it that users will return? Well 64% of participants reported that they would return to Healthcare.gov to continue research.

Image Source: Pixabay

Competition Matters

These metrics aren’t relevant if we cannot see how the competition is doing. An analysis of competing healthcare web services shows how much Healthcare.gov was able to improve within a single month. In October, the website straggled behind eight different healthcare plan sites, including MN Sure, Covered CA, and Connect for Health CO. The tide changed in November, and Healthcare.gov took third place, behind well-established services like Kaiser Permanente and eHealth.

Healthcare Challenges

While there has been a major jump in user satisfaction and usability since the November fixes, Healthcare.gov still has room for improvement. Users did report challenges with navigation and content, with 32% finding that the process was difficult to navigate and 27% reporting a lack of relevant information.

Other web-based organizations can learn from the mistakes and improvements on Healthcare.gov. Companies that lack coherent web presences can lose out on growth opportunities. If your organization relies on web-based services, it is crucial for you to track usability metrics during new feature launches and updates.

About Author
James is Tech blogger. He contributes to the Blogging, Gadgets, Social Media and Tech News section on SoftManya.