It’s now clear that the design of the critical health care exchanges for the Affordable Health Care Act is a mess. And no one in either the design community or the tech community is seriously talking about it. The Obama Administration had 3 years to get this right and blew it.
What we have is a beta test of software. Well, that can work in the business and IT world–it’s the culture. Launch and fix it along the way. But for a medical insurance system used by millions of people–many of them computer-illiterate? Common.
It looks like the biggest flaw is forcing people to first open a personal account before they can actually look at the competing health insurance plans. They have to sign in before getting the information they need. That crush to sign in appears to be what is crashing the system. According to the Wall Street Journal, which is the only major MSM covering this (yeah, I know, it’s conservative but design flaws aren’t political), healthcare.gov was supposed to have an option to browse before registering but the tool wasn’t developed on time. Really? The “tool” to browse couldn’t be developed on time?
I’m at the AIGA conference today, giving a talk on Creative Intelligence. I wish the Obama IT/Design folks were here. They certainly need more creative intelligence.