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education | e-government | eID
In the summer of 2006 a study grant for higher education could for the first time be applied for online. Since mid-August 2007, this is also possible for secondary education. In the summer of 2008 new target groups for study grants will be added: parents of children in nursery and primary education. As a result, the number of electronic family records (394,000 individual records) may grow from 152,000 to 317,000.
In 2007 (the first year in which a campaign was launched about the electronic application) more than 1 out of three applications were submitted electronically.
Tip 1: Take your time.
The first stage of this MAGDA project in 2006-2007 took six months to complete. It started with an analysis by a working group in which CORVE (Flemish e-Government Coordination Unit) experts also participated intensively. The project managers reserved two months to thoroughly test it. Consequently, there were hardly any problems when the application entered into production.
Tip 2: Make an in-depth analysis.
Problems must be thoroughly analysed. Think everything through and consider all the functional scenarios in detail (especially when authentic sources need to be consulted and integrated into both the front (application form) and back offices. Write trial scenarios already during the design phase, because when under pressure you are inclined to forget this.
Tip 3: Carry out user trials.
Especially when developing an application for citizens, you have to call on specialists to perform tests among the end users. The hired usability specialists observed people at home and asked them questions while they were going through the application procedure. This resulted in a number of adjustments being made, such as the numbering of the input screens and a progress bar. Do certainly not forget to perform trials among people with a visual disability, for instance. The tips they give you are most of the time useful for other users as well. It is thus very important for you as a government not to exclude any target groups.