With the firm base of the IT development in India, the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India (MEA) has been working hard for refashioning its digital identity to the world for two years. Starting from revamping the MEA website, it aims to catch the public attention over its services including passport and visa applications via the new media.
On 29 July 2013, Foreign Secretary of MEA, Ranjan Mathai, made an official announcement that the mobile app for the ministry services of Indian Government was launched. Named as "MEA India", surfers can download the app from "Google Play" and "Apple Store" at a free cost. Once clicked open the app, the whoosh of the rotatable palatte navigator has impressed most of the viewers. A variety of ministry services including passport services, visa/consular services, public diplomacy, media centre, follow PM/EAM services, e-citizen information, Indian missions aboard, haj services and Kallash Manasarovar Yatra services are all available at your fingertips.
Simply take the Indian visa application as an example. The latest information about various types of visas and visa-on-arrival arrangement for foreign nationals are available on-the-go via the mobile app. It truly gives the handy assistance for foreigners. However, it is widely commented by the netizens that the app is informative yet highly interactive. No online forms for visa application have been available through the app. The track record for such an application cannot be obtained from the platform either.
To fit the uses of all global travellers and further fix the less user-friendly contents of the app, a deep and thorough user's research shall be carried out as soon as possible. A product takes ergonomics as the key of design; it is highly possible for the product itself get popular in the market. This law will also apply to the setting of online visa application. If the app is designed to accommodate the needs or benefits of all the visa bearers, the app will be widely acclaimed as the first of its kind around the world.