How to handle the 7 most common troubles in public and self-service portals

How to handle the 7 most common troubles in public and self-service portals

Written by Lucia Manetti

There are countless documented benefits about how a portal can increase employee and business productivity and efficiency. Among the advantages coming from adopting a portal solution, we have an improved overall communication, collaboration, and knowledge management between providers/organisations and customers/citizens. Yet, many portals suffer from low user adoption. A portal created for your organization many years ago isn’t going to cut it in the digital era anymore. With ongoing changing work dynamics of the new generation of employees, the way in which people work is also changing. Organizations and executives may adapt to the change in work dynamics, but often forget to modernize their business tools, thus creating a productivity disconnection between the new workforce and the old methods/tools.

Here are the 7 most common troubles in public portals and their possible solutions with Newired:

Problem #1: Ownership ambiguity and responsibility splittings

Do you have a specific person to manage the portal in your company? Having a clear owner, who is responsible for everything in the portal, could be a real challenge for a company. Unfortunately, the heart of the portal and its destiny depends on the owner and then partially on the various teams or departments to which it is assigned. The typical case is having an owner for the content and a different one for the technology. This however generates inconsistency and heavily impacts software usability.

How to fix it with Newired:

Highlight critical processes and best practices to avoid lack of knowledge within the teams involved in the portal maintenance.

Problem #2: Low functionality, outdated design and poor usability

How many times have you connected to your municipality platform just to see that its last update was two years ago? Probably all too many, and this actually happens a lot around the world and in a wide range of contexts. In companies, for example, employees can provide outdated information to prospects and clients, with consequences on the business. Also, when users feel they are unable to find something they were looking for, they lose trust in the portal and in the organisation as well.

How to fix it with Newired:

Changing the interface of portals is something that could take months and is not always possible. With Newired, you can avoid disruptive changes to the platform by adding contextual guidance on it. Whenever the users are driven through their tasks and the employees are in some way forced to regularly update all information, functionality and usability will be instantly enhanced.

Problem #3: Infrastructure underestimation

Interns are definitely not the right people to build public web portals, you should look for experts. Planning and research are needed, as well as collaboration across teams, since creating a portal needs a continuous analysis of goals, structure, costs and resources.

How to fix it with Newired:

When platform complexity gets out of hand, you can regain control by adding some Newired Journeys on it. By making your portal users more independent, you’ll save time and resources with support and will be able to use them to fix the critical issues.

Problem #4: Not considering the final users enough 

Service portals are often addressed to people who haven’t got any knowledge of coding or technology. On the other hand, it’s pretty difficult for developers to figure out the troubles that a common user could have while using the platform. That is why it is so important to keep the end users in mind when projecting and developing the portal, to avoid establishing something that won’t be intuitive enough for the people.

How to fix it with Newired:

It can happen, even with the best software, that the end users feel a little discomfort. Newired solutions are able to connect even the oldest software with people, providing in-app support and contextual guidance which will make even the most terrifying interface better.

Problem #5: Poor training on the platform

Not all portals are addressed to end users, sometimes the user is internal to the organization. If the employees are not trained enough to use the platform, they probably won’t use all its features or will do so incorrectly. Once they are well-trained and educated, things will be different.

How to fix it with Newired:

Newired is a perfect solution even for employee training and onboarding. Users can “learn by doing”, following a contextual path along all the tasks they have to perform instead of attending over theoretical trainings or trying to figure things out on some manual or PDF file.

Problem #6: Follow the bad example

Something which is not acceptable anymore in the digital market is to put business needs in front of users’ needs. All software, now more than ever, need to be useful, easy to understand and helpful, but some companies still ignore it, with very negative consequences.

How to fix it with Newired:

Newired helps make all web applications more user friendly, no matter how they were before. Another clue factor related to Newired and Journeys is the Analytics section: in this section, you can analyze Journeys and their success rate, where they have been dropped out and other useful things, such as how many users have played that Journey or the most used Journeys. 

Problem #7: Not consider how different generations use software differently

Public portals are used by customers, who are mostly citizens looking for something, such as documentation. 

The potential target audience is huge: the user might be a teenager or an old lady: the non-experienced users are the weak link of the chain: sometimes they might fail the process, missing some information or simply dropping out the online form, as it is too difficult to fill in. 

How to fix it with Newired:

In-app support is helpful in case we have users coming from different contexts and who have never seen the platform before. Running training courses on end users is virtually impossible, but you can provide all the information they need to know to be able to use the product from the first login. 


Newired can help you acquire new portal users by enhancing processes and guiding users through what they are looking for. To make this process even better, you can also think 

about user segmentation: Newired can propose different kinds of approach for the same task, depending on the customer experience: 

  • For experienced users: Short Journeys which help the user find their way or highlight some more challenging part of the operation. E.g: costs, expedition times, ecc.  
  • For non-experienced users: fully guided step-by step-processes, with more detailed explanation and attention to more challenging spots, to help users avoid mistakes. Newired Journeys can also enforce the process, allowing users to interact only with the correct element.

This way, users are more likely to finish and configure the process correctly.  Avoiding shipping errors or wrong documents requests, for instance, means fewer support requests and less expenses to handle these errors afterwards. 

Another clue factor related to Newired solutions is the Analytics section: there you can analyze Journeys and their success rate, where users have quit and much more. You can see how many users have done that Journey or the list of most used Journeys. 

With Newired, you’ll be able to customize and build a much more efficient service, based on customer patterns and common errors.

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