The Insight team provided technical assistance to New Mexico’s Human Services Department’s Income Support Division to review and improve the multiprogram online application (e.g., for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program [SNAP], Temporary Assistance for Needy Families [TANF], Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program [LIHEAP], Medicaid) for federal compliance and adherence to best practices in comprehension, readability, usability, and presentation.
Before beginning the work, Insight developed an online application Review Tool to facilitate review and assessment of state agency online application modules for applications, recertifications, and change reporting. This tool assessed the online application according to six components: (1) federal requirements; (2) comprehension and readability, in English and Spanish; (3) presentation, to determine whether clients could easily locate meaningful information, understand the content, and perform tasks within the application; (4) usability, to assess whether the online application flowed in a logical order with appropriate steps to help the client complete tasks; (5) accessibility, for people with disabilities; (6) performance measures, to identify metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of the online application (compared with the paper application) and client experience. Finally, the Review Tool included best practices and policy requirements from federal agencies governing the SNAP, TANF, LIHEAP, and Medicaid programs.
For this work, Insight—
- Conducted in-person usability testing with program applicants to gather feedback on user experiences and observe clients’ understanding of the application content and ability to perform designated tasks within the online application
- Conducted focus groups with agency staff and program applicants to collect input on challenges related to use of the online application and assess the overall design and layout of the application
- Led in-person site visits including observations of the process for initiating, navigating, and completing the application
- Used the Review Tool to assess online application modules for initial applications, recertifications, and change reporting
- Identified elements of the online application to be improved, streamlined, or eliminated to incorporate best practices and summarized findings in a final report
Online application Review Tool; final report with recommendations