Is the UK Tolling the App Death Knell for Government Services?

September 14, 2016

The article titled Why Britain Banned Mobile Apps on GovInsider introduces Ben Terret and the innovative UK Government Digital Service program, the first of its kind in the world. Terret spearheaded a strict “no apps” policy in favor of websites while emphasizing efficiency, clarity, cost savings, and relevance of the information. This all adds up to creating a simple and streamlined experience for UK citizens. Terret explains why this approach is superior in an app-crazed world,

Apps are “very expensive to produce, and they’re very very expensive to maintain because you have to keep updating them when there are software changes,” Terrett says. “I would say if you times that by 300, you’re suddenly talking about a huge team people and a ton of money to maintain that ecosystem”…Sites can adapt to any screen size, work on all devices, and are open to everyone to use regardless of their device.

So what do these websites look like? They are clean, simple, and operated under the assumption that “Google is the homepage.” Terrett measures the success of a given digital services by monitoring how many users complete a transaction, or how many continued to search for additional information, documents, or services. Terrett’s argument against apps is a convincing one, especially based on the issue of cutting expenses. Whether this argument translates into the private sector is another question.

Chelsea Kerwin, September 14, 2016
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