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Using customer-focused research and design to build a self-service online store: a case study

Authors Ahmadi M, Trefzger W, Morey R, Quintas I, Pond M

Received 6 June 2012

Accepted for publication 24 October 2012

Published 5 February 2013 Volume 2013:3 Pages 21—32


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Michael B Ahmadi,1 William Trefzger,2 Rich Morey,1 Ileana Quintas3

1Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Rockville, 2Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Baltimore, 3IQ Solutions, Inc, Rockville, MD, USA

Abstract: American government information centers need to be responsive to an increasingly customer driven information environment while ensuring the sustainability of operations. Enhanced self-service options offer one avenue for addressing both of these needs. This article presents a case study of how the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration used extensive stakeholder research and a customer-centric design to reframe its service model by building a self-service online store that integrates access to more than 1300 behavioral health publications previously housed in two separate clearinghouses. The redesigned Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Store offers users a modern e-commerce website that not only helps customers find, order, download, and share products, but also encourages serendipitous content exploration, which has led to increased orders containing both substance abuse and mental health publications.

Keywords: customer research, taxonomy, usability testing, web analytics, web design

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