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The task of designing forms for public administration in Austria lies almost completely in the hands of the individual administration units. The goal is to offer the highest level of uniformity for carrying out electronic procedures in eGovernment and provide users with an understandable and easy-to-use interface.

The styleguide for e-forms (sg-stg) contains specific measures on structured design, systematic categorisation of content and visual design of online forms. Using a systematic, uniform and user-friendly approach to e-forms, it aims to simplify electronic procedures for citizens and businesses and make them as convenient as possible, to the benefit of both. The specifications of the style guide have already been broadly implemented.

In order to take the technical development in the design of the form into account, the convention is currently being thoroughly revised and extended to include dynamic elements in the form sequence and the description of its behaviour. The updating work of the convention is currently in the finalisation phase so that a framework for a contemporary implementation of e-forms will soon be available.

Online Dialogs

The Convention for Online Dialogs (Konvention Online-Dialoge, or sg-od) describes the steps for creating applications using interactive online forms. It contains recommendations on how users should be guided through the form: from accessing the form, entering and changing information, to submitting the data to the proper administrative unit. This process should be uniform and recognisable across the administrative unit. Users should have access to application forms that are simple and easy to understand. This helps to ensure that the electronic input is of high quality, complete, and error-free as possible so that the processing time can be reduced accordingly.

With the new style guide version 3.0, the convention online dialogues is closed as the process and behaviour descriptions are integrated directly into the “style guide for e-forms” due to the increased usage of dynamic elements.

Style guide for Web applications

On an increasingly frequent scale, applications are being created by authorities with the goal of also making them available to other authorities. In the process, a major commercial benefit can be gained as the applications do not have to be developed and operated by each partner. This is made possible, among others, by the eGovernment strategies developed in Austria over the last few years (portal group, security and role concepts, etc.) and the technical environment (PVP, common data models, web service interfaces, etc.).

The style guide for web applications (between authorities) is used for newly developed web applications across authorities. The document is aimed at project managers, developers of web applications across authorities and people responsible for style guides of web applications and forms the basis for a structured development of web applications, for a systematic structuring of the content and a uniform external form (layout). The goal is to depict the fundamental components of a uniform operating concept in the form of samples and best practices.

In the process, a greater acceptance and an improved usability as well as a reduced induction time for the users distributed across various organisations.

Further information at e-Government reference server