Too complex yet it cost 48 million!

by workforceplanner

Ask anyone – reporters, students, individuals with advanced degrees, anyone who has ever tried to navigate a dot gov website for actionable information – most dot gov sites are so bloated a simple research mission can become an exercise in futility.

Bureau of Labor Statistics is no exception. If you’re an employer in Talent Acquisition mode in search of dot gov BLS data without the bloat, see Workforce Locator™

Those individuals who are unemployed don’t have the luxury of choice to obtain information through a website that functions as intuitively as Workforce Locator does. Instead, they must be dependent upon dot gov or state run dot US sites…

Consider how, in a not especially surprising eyebrow raising news flash, it turns out, the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions has a website that’s ineffective as it’s been deemed “too complex” for the state’s job seeker population (the mostly unemployed audience for whom the site is intended). However,  news about legislative auditors weighing in on the $48 million dollar site that apparently needs to be revamped does raise questions.

The URL for the state’s site was not included in the item I read (below) so I did a Boolean search with these terms: workforce AND solutions AND new AND mexico. Well, noting only the first two links that Google returned referred me there directly, I was curious about the results the following intuitive search terms such as these would return: new mexico unemployment benefits. So I tried those terms and the URL’s that Google pointed me to which include the website’s domain name were only the first few – indicating NM is not even doing a decent job of promoting the $48,000,000 site online where promotion counts most…

How did NM spend this much money? How did they sign off on Q&A issues while the site was being developed? Did they employ focus groups? They might have thought to create focus groups comprised of unemployed state residents and they could have paid these people to be beta testers before the launch, because that would have made sense, but it’s doubtful they spent any portion of the money that way… Here’s the report:

Workforce Solutions site ‘too complex’

Updated: Sunday, 21 Jul 2013, 1:38 PM MDT
Published : Sunday, 21 Jul 2013, 1:38 PM MDT

Crystal Gutierrez Crystal Gutierrez

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Unemployed New Mexicans are having trouble finding benefits – not because they don’t qualify, but because the New Mexico Workforce Solutions computer system is too complicated.

Legislative auditors say the new system is “too complex,” yet costs $48 million.

The audit released Friday criticized state oversight of the Workforce Solution’s computer system which was financed by federal money.

Workforce Solutions secretary said they’re trying to make it more user-friendly.