I for one do not believe that they want to hide the cost of the medical plans and force users to create accounts and enter detailed personal information before they can start shopping, I think they just wanted force people to register so they can have bragging rights about the vast number of registrations and on how successful the website is. Could you imagine if Amazon.com forced everyone to register prior to shopping and making a purchase? This is a classic example of not performing the necessary Research, Testing and Heuristic Evaluation for a very important communication tool, and one that will get millions of requests a week — this was a disaster waiting to happen. I have seen this kind of myopic behaviour too many times, it is usually the result of an order made by big decision-makers in the organization — those who never thought through the process thoroughly enough.
I love this comment from the article, it’s the software equivalent of a government bureaucratic debacle.
Weaver and Radnofsky say that the core problem stems from “the slate of registration systems [that] intersect with Oracle Identity Manager, a software component embedded in a government identity-checking system.” The main Healthcare.gov web page collects information using the CGI Group technology. Then that data is transferred to a system built by Quailty Software Services. QSS then sends data to Experian, the credit-history firm. But the key “identity management system” employed by QSS was designed by Oracle, and according to the Journal’s sources, the Oracle software isn’t playing nicely with the other information systems.
I had a similar experience trying to get a permit in a local government office — art imitating life!