From a foreign perspective, the current state of the Canadian governments, digital platforms is leaps and bounds ahead of many other first-word countries (particularly, Australia). From personal experience, it has been much easier to find information on visas, immigration, etc. on the Canadian government’s websites, as opposed to places like the US. I have been pleasantly surprised with the amount of information available to me and how easy it was to find definite answers.
That being said, the current system certainly has its shortcomings: there is so much information immediately presented to you on a page, which while beneficial can be overwhelming, it is easy to get lost in a hole of links, the typography/content hierarchy is difficult to scan, the support is non-existent if you have questions and sometimes you can’t immediately find exactly what you want.
However, I would be interested to hear why they went with Adobe, personally that seems an odd choice for the overhaul of a digital platform. While certainly versed in software design and development, I would have thought an agency well versed in digital innovation would have made more sense.
The fact that they have gone over budget neither concerns nor surprises me. The overhaul is undoubtedly a huge undertaking, the rapidly expanding budget simply demonstrates that perhaps, like you mentioned, it hasn’t been thoroughly thought through.
I think, if handled well, this switch, and the integration of departments to Canada. CA could be a huge leap forward for digital innovation in the government/public service sector, and of great benefit to Canada as a whole. However, if handled poorly it’s going to turn into a giant SNAFU. The Canadian government has an opportunity here to set the standard for government platforms which have a long history of being information heavy, hard to navigate, riddled with bugs and just… bland. Here is hoping they will seize the opportunity.