We divide the user experience into two categories: “What's the efficiency with which I provide services?” and “How effective are the interfaces to those services in terms of making it easy to do things?”
One of the things we have done is look at how to measure performance on our service desk more effectively. We’re getting on the order of 2,000 to 2,500 calls per week. We want to make sure our deputies can do their job, not waiting on the phone a long time.
A few measures we keep a careful hold on are call abandonment rate, average wait and first-call resolution rate. We also look at our ticket reduction rate and how fast are we resolving these tier two [and] tier three tickets. Those are all things that are a major pain point for most organizations, [where we’re trying] to improve our performance…and the customer experience when they call in.
On the interface side of things, we are in the process of modernizing our case management system, which takes care of our prisoner tracking, our investigations [and] our security management. We want to make sure that those interfaces are intuitive to our deputy U.S. marshals and to our task force members as they use it.
For example, we're using agile methods. In each scrum, the product owner is a deputy U.S. marshal, or as we call them in the civil service, an “1811 gun toter.” They're in there with that scrum, looking at things as they go through their sprints, seeing the product and giving advice on how it works—and not just on a computer screen. We're pushing mobile as much as we can. As we've done sprints and produced products [or increments of functionality], we demo them to our personnel at headquarters and then take it out into the field for feedback.
One of the things we're doing—and I want to credit ATF who gave us this idea—we’re letting key users use the product and then we videotape and watch them as they use it to see what their reactions are as they go through it [and] to judge, “Okay, is it intuitive? Or is it causing them trouble?”