When was the last time you made a dinner reservation by calling the restaurant? Odds are, you’ve likely just used an app on your smartphone. The reasons are obvious – digital services implemented with modern technologies—cloud-native, mobile, and cognitive/analytics—and modern techniques—user centered design, agile development, and devsecops—are simply the most efficient way to find information and access services today. So why would you create extra steps for yourself to explore on our federal lands and waters? You wouldn’t.
When we plan for experiences, from booking your dream adventure to visit the top 10 national parks to escaping the city for a day hike in one of our National Forests, we want to be able to quickly find relevant information and the ability to conduct transactions, such as booking a campsite, very simply and securely. For the most part, the commercial service and hospitality industries get these features right. We know that updating or canceling reservations is a straightforward process, comparing hotel prices is more comprehensive and data driven than ever before, and accessing reviews or pictures of what you’ll be experiencing are expected. There are only a few other industries that anticipate consumer needs and overwhelmingly deliver.