Increasing Trust through Digital Experiences

Executive Summary

New research indicates citizens are relying more heavily on digital public services during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, declining levels of trust in government, a lack of confidence in the economic future, and demand for support outstripping the capacity to serve, are all adding strain to governments’ relationships with their citizens. Citizens are clearly signaling for improvements to be made in design, relevance, and relationship online as well as for greater consideration to protecting citizen data while still providing more efficient solutions online. Creating satisfying digital government experiences appears to be not only a source for more efficiently meeting surging demand, but importantly for building much-needed trust in government.


In 2017 and 2018, Adobe and WPP’s Government & Public Sector Practice conducted global research with citizens to better understand expectations of government digital services, how to create more positive experiences, and ultimately improve citizens’ trust in government (see Delivering experiences that count and Why experience matters in the public sector). Over the past four years, this research has helped inform governments’ work to create more functional, efficient, well-designed, and customized digital experiences for its citizens.

To better understand how advances in technology since the previous research and the acute reliance on online public services have impacted citizens’ expectations, Adobe and WPP’s Government & Public Sector Practice have surveyed over 6,000 citizens aged 18 to 64 in six countries: Australia, Canada, Germany, Singapore, the UK, and the USA. The research provides insight into the expectations and experiences of digital public services today and points to areas for action to improve citizen experiences tomorrow.