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The city of Helsinki – towards better digital user experiences

Paradigmatic change is ongoing in how digital user experiences are developed. The change is mainly driven by dynamic and growing user expectations that demand individual digital experiences, and fast and easy services with intuitive user interfaces. The timespan that people are willing to waste with poor digital user experience is getting all the time lower.

Big cities, like the Finnish capital Helsinki, is no exception. They need to interact with society and serve their citizens digitally. The challenges that cities usually face are the complex organizational structures in silos, many different APIs combined with little resources, and a vast variety of services they offer to serve all citizens. The whole digital user journey is often overlooked because of these complexities.  

For citizens, it’s important that the user experience is seamless, regardless of the different administrative boundaries. The usability should be great and all the information is easy to find according to the interests of the visitors. 

It has now become imperative to have actionable and highly utilized data to create relevant, personalized user experiences. Luckily, new personalization technologies enable and fuel the speed of digital changes.  

The goal for Mikko Rusama, CDO from the city of Helsinki, is to make the city of Helsinki the most functional city in the world utilizing opportunities enabled by digitalization. The journey with Frosmo started in fall 2019 with My personalized hel.fi digital service. 

“Helsinki aims to be the city in the world that makes the best use of digitalization. It’s been a pleasure to work with Frosmo. Their knowledge and technical expertise of personalized user journeys have helped us to get closer to our goal.”
Mika Lappalainen,  Editor-In-Chief, The city of Helsinki


My personalized hel.fi

My personalized hel.fi is a digital service where a visitor is able to search for local events, information, and news that are close to them. 

Frosmo’s solution combines different data points by utilizing different APIs and combining information that would normally be scattered in different parts of their website. By using the geolocation data, the service can recommend events and news that are happening in close proximity (up to 1 km) of the searcher. The service also allows the user to search by writing the address if the events of some other location are more interesting.  

The results are shown on the map as well as on the list. 

Goals for the solution: 

  • Make sure that the content is easier to find and more easily accessible
  • Better usability of the website
  • More personalized user experience 
  • Better engagement with different services 

 

The city of Helsinki- towards better digital user experiences

 

“We have validated the Frosmo personalization software and it has proven to be reliable as it satisfies the rigid requirements of the City of Helsinki technology.”
Kalle Mikkolainen, Service Manager, IT Department.


Frosmo works as a headless front-end technology that enables an easy way to combine multiple APIs, data points, and segmentation for one seamless user experience. It doesn’t require any changes to the back end making it easy to use by non-technical employees. 
Read more about how we help cities and government agencies give easier access to the information that people need. Reach out, we’re happy to help.

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How website personalization delivers effective communication in the public sector

The concept of personalization has been ongoing in the retail industry for years now. But for the public sector industry, municipal leaders are just starting to realize the potential of crafting customized customer experiences based on user behavior and context.

Many government websites host a vast variety of content, information, and news that is easily comparable to a big corporation operating in various businesses. Even a small local government site might host information about parking permits, daycare services, tourist attractions, and building permits while trying to attract new employees – just to mention a few. An unexpected situation like the COVID-19 crisis adds another layer of complexity for communication. 

Web visitors want to have the information they need without spending any extra time on the site. If the information is difficult to find or not interesting enough, web visitors will end up contacting the call centers which will then add up to the overall costs of the service. 

Personalization helps the users find the information according to their interests thus making the service relevant and more engaging. For citizens, it’s important that the user experience is seamless, regardless of the different administrative boundaries. The visitors seek great usability and the easiness to find information.

The benefits of personalization in the public sector:

  • More relevant messaging saves the resource of call centers and have a direct link to cost savings.
  • Employees are happier due to reduced routine work-load in support.
  • Make all information and content easily accessible across administrational boundaries for all citizens.
  • Better digital services bring more satisfied visitors that engage more with the content.
  • Allow rapid pervasive response to evolving situations by allowing targeting content to certain groups.
  • Achieve all these without expensive systems projects or adding manual labor.

    Personalized content block in public sector
    Personalized content block – Easy way to start providing the content that site visitors want and need


Easy way to start personalization

Personalization can take many forms, but to ease the adoption, we’re recommending to start with the following use cases that are very easy and fast to implement to any public sector site: 

  1. Content recommendations: Frosmo helps site visitors find the correct content by using AI algorithms to recommend relevant content. Recommendation strategies include  ‘Visitors who viewed this article also viewed’ and ‘Trending articles right now’.
  2. Local governments find location-specific personalization interesting as it consists of many geographical areas hosting their own services and events. Site visitors can select their area of interest or the technology can detect their approximate location. This has been popular because otherwise, the local content is buried under the general content or administrative categories. 
  3. Targeted pop-ups or ribbons to communicate urgent information like the COVID-19 related instructions and most recent updates.

 

Personalization and GDPR

Many are concerned about GDPR. Frosmo is fully GDPR-compliant. Personal data is not needed to provide dynamic and relevant website experiences.

Read more about the solution for the public sector and the privacy policy.

 


About the writer:

Maija Erkheikki has over 15 years of experience in the international software industry and is driven by a passion to use technology to improve the quality of life. This passion was best exemplified in her role as a consultant for healthcare companies, working on business processes and performance management. This led to a career in the partner-driven software business, where it is critical to build win-win-win models. Currently, she is fascinated by the digitalization of commerce and how artificial intelligence reshapes all industries.

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