Good online services for Germany -Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein want to establish nationwide standards

June 27, 2023

A modern administration needs good online services – easy to use, secure and barrier-free. This is where the KERN cooperation project comes in. Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein are jointly initiating a modular system for the design of digital administrative solutions, which will also be made available to all other federal states as well as municipalities and IT service providers. The focus is on facilitating the development of high-quality online services. The first publication of individual building blocks is already planned for summer 2023.

Jan Pörksen, State Councillor and Head of the Senate Chancellery Hamburg: “Online services of the administration can only bring about a real relief for citizens if they are easy to use. We develop our digital services from the user’s perspective. KERN focuses on standardising good online services in terms of usability and structure. That is why we are working with Schleswig-Holstein and together with experts in user-oriented design on a solution for the whole of Germany. The exchange with a broad community of experts is very valuable and shows once again that digitisation works best when it is designed cooperatively. The project is a nationwide milestone in the field of service-oriented administrative modernisation.”

Dirk Schrödter, Minister of Digitisation and Head of the State Chancellery of Schleswig-Holstein: “Our citizens and businesses have a right to make the use of administrative services as easy and convenient as shopping in an online shop. The digital state must become simpler and more intuitive. Because one thing is clear: without real usability, digitisation is doomed to fail. The success of the overall project of administrative digitisation depends on whether we succeed in inspiring people with our services. Therefore, the topic of user-centred development must find its way into administrative activities much more strongly than before. With KERN, we are creating an important building block for this. In addition, the project is representative of many other topics that are important to us in the digitisation of the administration: Standards are a central lever for us. With KERN, we are creating a transnational standard to avoid unnecessary duplication of work and to ensure the quality of our services. We do not act alone in this, but in close partnership with all interested parties. The provision is done according to the motto ‘Public Money – Public Code’, so we ensure that everyone can benefit from the good things we develop.”

KERN aims to enable developers to design accessible and efficient digital administrative solutions. With the support of experts for UX design (user experience design), “components” are created that are closely oriented to the needs of the users. All elements are made available in an open-source design system – including handouts, templates and services such as a code library. Individual elements of the modular system can be freely combined. In this way, digital administrative solutions are optimally adapted to individual requirements.

From local to federal level: With the standardisation of online services, KERN creates a recognition value for administrative offers. This will make it easier for citizens to recognise government digital services and find their way around. The acceptance of digital services offered by public administrations can thus be strengthened.

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