Adobe study reveals the current state of digital government
Adobe surveyed over 1,000 US consumers, to understand how people prefer to engage with government services online a year into COVID-19 pandemic.
Image source: Adobe Stock / Rawf8
This time last year, a fair amount of people had likely never gone online before to interact with their local or federal government. Residents had become accustomed to visiting a physical government office, whether it was to renew a piece of identification or to apply for services and programs.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, created a digital-only reality that forced people online. Government offices rushed to maintain service continuity. And while some were able to leverage existing investments, others had to build from scratch. For many of these agencies, it accelerated digital transformation efforts that had long been underway.
In light of this, Adobe recently surveyed over 1,000 consumers in the United States, to better understand what happened during this surge towards online services and how perceptions have shifted around digital government.
Our top learnings and findings:
- 36 percent of people said they used online government services for the first time because of the pandemic. These first-time users are younger (52 percent of Millennial and 49 percent of Gen Z vs 36 percent of Gen X and 14 percent of Boomers/Traditionalists). And, they are more focused on research on topics like COVID-19, with nearly half of those browsing .gov sites for research and information only being first-timers).
- There is strong interest in having a more digital government, with over three-quarters of people responding that it would make their lives easier if all government services were available online.
- 62 percent of people said they would have liked to receive more direct communication from the government about the COVID-19 pandemic, with 60 percent saying they regularly read what they were receiving. Only half of people felt that direct communication from the government left them feeling well-informed and prepared for the pandemic.
- Email is the top choice for people when it comes to receiving communications from the government, as cited by 41 percent of respondents. This is followed by physical mail (22 percent), text messages (13 percent), and phone (10 percent).
- 77 percent of people said they would access more government services if they were available online, and three-quarters said they would do so more frequently.
- 73 percent of respondents believe that online government services have been steadily improving over time. However, 46 percent cite that going online is confusing, with nearly half of respondents saying that visiting a physical office to finish a task is easier than doing it digitally.
- Digital experiences have a notable impact on consumer sentiment towards government. Three-quarters say that a quality online experience would generally make them view local, state or government agencies more favorably, while 68 percent said it would it make them trust government more.
- 82 percent of people said clean layouts and design is an important part of having a good experience online with a government service. 87 percent shared that when interacting with governments online, they want their needs addressed as quickly as possible. 64 percent want to easily accomplish their goal, while 58% want to be able to quickly find the information they need.
- Over half of people have accessed between one and four government services online, with 60 percent of people saying they have engaged the government digitally in the last 3 months (Nearly all respondents have done so in the last 12 months). 57 percent of people say they feel well-informed about which government services were available online and how to access them.
The Adobe survey was conducted between February 10 and February 13, 2021, with 1,080 participants based in the United States. Respondents had to be over 18 years of age, owned at least one electronic device and must have accessed at least one type of government service via an online channel.