CASE STUDY

GSA: Dramatically Simplifying Federal Form Function

Coworkers collaborating in the office
General Services Administration

About the Client

The General Services Administration (GSA) is a U.S. government agency with the purpose of helping to manage and support basic functions of federal agencies.

GSA user interface elements and person working on laptop computer

AT A GLANCE

From cumbersome and non-intuitive to superior usability.

The GSA’s Program was created to connect commercial real estate holders who would like to lease space to federal agencies. Existing web pages supporting the exchange were extremely cumbersome and non-intuitive, which required the process for the real estate holder to complete a linear series of dense forms requiring a lot of detailed information – without the ability to save or manage input.

The results was a portal that provides both sets of stakeholders with superior usability within a polished interface that reinforces GSA’s image as a technologically savvy agency.

Project Overview

Primary Goal

To streamline GSA’s online marketplace

Audience / Users

Federal Employees and Real Estate Professionals

Related Technologies

Apex, VisualForce, Salesforce, Force.com

THE CHALLENGE

The GSA’s Automated Advanced Acquisition Program is designed to connect commercial real estate holders who would like to lease space to federal agencies with federal managers responsible for finding space to lease. AAAP hired LookThink to redesign and optimize the user experience within the context of a migration to a new Salesforce platform, Force.com.

OUR APPROACH

Avoiding Overwhelming, Massive Forms

LookThink inventoried and analyzed the existing forms in order to design a better user experience. This analysis served as the basis for determining how to avoid overwhelming users with massive forms. The team then developed a series of wireframes that incorporated many elegant means of managing the large numbers of required data fields.

New GSA wizard experience and coworkers working together

Screens from the interactive prototype

Refining and Styling the User Experience

LookThink then delivered GSA a clickable prototype – enabling them to work collaboratively with GSA stakeholders and the development team to further refine the user experience. Perhaps most importantly, because users had a unique set of credentials, LookThink created a way for users to easily start and stop, saving their progress.

LookThink’s work also included portal look and feel – styling the experience to be on par with common commercial real estate platforms. Requiring backwards compatibility with Internet Explorer 7 and above, the team created the necessary visual assets, HTML and CSS and then worked closely with the development team as they integrated LookThink’s code into the platform.

The Results

The resulting portal provides both sets of stakeholders with superior usability within a polished interface that reinforces GSA’s image as a technologically savvy agency. Feedback from the commercial real estate community has been very positive, the number of users of the system has increased, and the form failure rate has dropped.