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Adobe: The future of citizen engagement: digital experiences that put people first

Guest blog by Bev Wright, Head of UK&I Public Sector Digital Experience at Adobe as part of the Digital Transformation in the Public Sector Week #techUKDigitalPS

In the public sector, poor user experience and broken digital journeys aren’t just frustrating, they can have serious real-life consequences, especially for vulnerable citizens needing to access critical services. 

This is why the digital citizen experience matters and is one of the reasons why the public sector is not only one of the most challenging sectors to work in, but also one where technology has the greatest potential to have a real impact on people’s lives. It's one of the many reasons people like me are passionate about this field. 

The pandemic has shown everyone what’s possible and forever changed the way people want to interact with the government. Similar Web data shows that there are now over 55 million unique visits to GOV.UK web properties each month, with more than 68% of that traffic coming from mobile devices. 

But digital duplicates of previously offline experiences and processes are no longer enough. As exposure to the quick, simple, and intuitive digital experiences offered by the likes of Netflix and Deliveroo increases, our expectations of interactions with government services and the wider public sector have changed dramatically. A recent Adobe report shows that this increased focus on user-centricity has pushed enterprising governments to reimagine services with greater creativity and ingenuity. 

Public sector CIOs, CTOs & IT decision-makers who are already constrained by budget and resources are now under increasing pressure to improve the way they deliver digital services to the public – which can feel like an impossible task. 

One example to take inspiration from is consumer financial services - a sector which serves a vast array of citizens with different, complex needs, alongside the trend of moving from high street branches to online interactions. Plus, until recently, banks faced issues with disconnected data, legacy systems and processes, a trust problem, and a culture that wasn’t exactly digital-first – all challenges shared by the public sector. 

Now in 2022, an estimated 93% of UK adults use online banking and the vast majority would recommend their provider’s online and digital banking services to friends and family. 

The public sector has a real opportunity to undergo a similar transformation, improving not only experiences, but outcomes for citizens – whether that’s widening accessibility and inclusion, or ensuring medical conditions are diagnosed and treated early. 

The Government has laid out an ambitious roadmap for digital and data, stating its intentions to use technology as a catalyst for change and deliver digital experiences that match or exceed the standard found in the private sector.  

So how do public sector technology teams decide when and where to invest to deliver maximum value? 

At Adobe, we think there are three core principles to designing and delivering great digital experiences that truly put people first: 

Simple – Adopt user-centred design so that the citizen’s ‘jobs to be done’ become the north star. ‘Our’ success is your success 

Seamless – Omnichannel. Technology and services must be universally accessible, customised and integrated across platforms that connect quickly to back-end systems to optimise user experiences and engagement across any channel and support automated workstreams 

Secure – Trust without compromise. Modern, cloud-based, open architectures with fully compliant, centralised data management at its core

There is a real opportunity to invest in technology that allows the public sector to move beyond legacy systems and archaic processes, reducing the administrative burden on staff so they can focus on getting the right information, to the right people, in the right way, at the right time.   

Every interaction matters and is an opportunity to not only deliver good outcomes but to rebuild trust by demonstrating the government understands and is meeting peoples’ needs. 

Adopting the right technology can empower public sector organisations to create rich, personalised, and multi-channel digital experiences that improve public access to services and have a life-changing impact on some of our most vulnerable citizens. 

This is the time to seize that opportunity and change the world with better digital experiences – by putting people, not process, at the heart of the public sector.

To read more from #techUKDigitalPS Week, check out our landing page here.

You can also follow the campaign on techUK's Twitter and LinkedIn - #techUKDigitalPS.

bev wright Adobe.jpeg

Bev Wright, Head of UK&I Public Sector Digital Experience at Adobe, is a passionate and motivational sales leader in the technology sector. She Thrives on developing high-performing teams, creating and executing go-to-market plans resulting in continuous revenue growth for businesses and brilliant outcomes for customers. Learn more about this author here and get connected. To learn more about Adobe, please visit their LinkedIn and Twitter.

On Tuesday 5 April, techUK was delighted to host the Cabinet Office and industry representatives for the launch event for the UK Government’s Digital, Data and Technology Sourcing Playbook which was published on 28 March 2022. The DDaT Sourcing Playbook sets out guidance – in one place – as to how digital projects and programmes are assessed, procured and delivered in central government departments, arms-length bodies and the wider public sector. Through the application of what is commercial best practice, the Playbook addresses 11 key policies and six cross-cutting priorities that will ensure government gets things right from the start when it comes to procurement.

You can watch the recording of the launch event in full here:

DDaT Playbook Launch Event

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