In March 2022, the Office of Innovation and Technology (OIT) formally created the Digital Services Team.
You might be asking a key question: what are “digital services?”
Digital services are services that take place over the internet or an electronic network. For example—for the City—this includes forms that are on phila.gov, applications and tools, and more.
The existing Content Strategy, Digital Forms, and User Experience (UX) teams make up the Digital Services Team. This team establishes “Digital Services” as a priority within OIT. The team will create digital services that help residents and businesses easily interact with City government.
What will the team do?
Phila.gov is the main digital access point for City information and services.
The team will use human-centered design methodologies to better understand how residents engage with the City’s website and other digital products. They’ll think through how easy a tool is to use by its intended users, how clear the information is to understand, and how efficient a process can be made.
The Digital Services Team will:
- Represent the expertise and leadership of the UX and Content Strategy teams;
- Build upon how residents and businesses access or engage with information and services in city government;
- Expand and maintain phila.gov; and
- Establish a Digital Services strategy across government.
When discussing what this team will do, it’s important to consider what the UX, Content Strategy, and Digital Forms teams have already done before coming together as one. Here are some of the accomplishments from 2021:
- Created Licenses and Inspection (L&I) Lookup Resources (li.phila.gov), which consolidated 5 of the Department of L&I’s public-facing applications into a single-entry point.
- Redesigning the Water Lien application so that City residents can access it anywhere.
- Developed content for the Vendor Payments application.
- Wrote, revised, and designed website content with departments.
- Combined 11 new program and initiative websites onto a single, accessible platform.
- Held phila.gov training sessions for City staff.
- Digital Forms
- Moved over 70 digital forms to a new, more secure platform.
- Built a digital form for accepting wage tax refund petitions for non-residents which allowed for secure transmission of over 15,000 submissions.
Additionally, many of the products designed by the Digital Services Team designs are completed with the support of OIT’s Software Engineering team.
Moving forward, the Digital Services Team will continue to work on these types of projects—and so much more.
How will the team work?
In addition to the formation of a new team, the Digital Services program will now report to the new Chief Technology Officer (CTO) that will be hired. This will allow the design and development aspects of products to be more closely aligned.
With the in-depth expertise from content strategy, user experience, digital forms, and software engineering, the Office of Innovation and Technology is prepared to continue building quality, sustainable digital products for the residents and businesses of Philadelphia.