(Patchogue, New York) — The Affordable Care Act (ACA) websites endured a shockingly dysfunctional debut on October 1 with several technological problems that ultimately forced the website to crash for countless Americans.
Healthcare.gov, which was created to allow citizens to apply for health insurance coverage through a simple application, executed enrollment problems, insurance cancellations and infringed on the privacy of the public. The problems that the ACA website encountered included:
- Data center shutdown: The insurance marketplaces that are based online lost connection to their datacenters and caused blackouts.
- Crashes: When citizens visit healthcare.gov, they are being directed to another page that does not load and is causing an outrage.
- Accounts in purgatory: Many accounts were not properly authenticated which prevented flow between various system components.
- Human error: The design team did not address obvious problems with the website prior to the launch.
According to many potential enrollees, they could not navigate past the “create account” tab due to a message that informed them about high traffic. “These complications could have easily been avoided if the proper steps were taken prior to the website launch,” says Steve Gerbino, PRMGWebsite Designer and Developer. “The web developers should have taken more time to conduct crucial tests in order to view the site’s vulnerability and ensure that it would be ready to handle the increased traffic on its launch date.”
Some of Mr. Gerbino’s tips for launching an innovative website competently include:
- Unit testing: Making sure the website works properly as whole, not just certain aspects of the site.
- Quality assurance measures/metrics: Web programmers should constantly test the website for bugs and continue testing even if the website is working perfectly.
- End-to-end testing: Test for weaknesses within the website and ask yourself questions about user-friendliness.
- Stress Testing: Stress test the website by watching how it will act in extreme conditions such as web traffic and arbitrary outages.
- Better planning: Make sure what you’re asking for in the website is manageable. Consult plans with a web designer and make sure you have the money to launch the website smoothly and successfully.
Poor planning and lack of testing resulted in the failure of the initial ObamaCare websites. Furthermore, Healthcare.gov is now enduring poor publicity which is affecting the public’s attitude towards the new health care plan.
“It is essential to ensure that the website is perfect by executing an organized plan and constantly testing, even minutes before a debut,” Mr. Gerbino adds. “If the public is unhappy with your website, your organization or company will suffer. Take the time to make sure a website is executed the correct way. It’s never worth sacrificing skilled labor for a cheaper budget or rushing to launch a website when it hasn’t been tested properly.”
Founded in 2002, The Public Relations and Marketing Group, LLC (PRMG) is a full-service public relations and marketing agency based in Patchogue, New York. PRMG is dedicated to helping businesses, professionals, non-profit organizations, government entities, attorneys and law firms leverage their time, talents and resources by using effective public relations and marketing techniques, as well as advertising, graphic design, website design and development, digital video production, website search optimization and social media. PRMG has launched a variety of website-based entities, including Long Island Policy Forum, PatMedNews, Dining Out Long Island and New York Lawyer Pages. For more information, call (631) 207-1057 or visit www.theprmg.com.