A digital pop up significantly lowers office-wide printing costs

Duplex printing

Duplex printing

What was the challenge?

A 2009 survey indicated that the average government employee printed about 30 pages per day; at 2.6 million executive branch employees and 240 working days per year, that amounts to over 18 billion pages printed per year. Estimates suggest that duplex printing was only 46% of all print jobs, implying significant opportunity to reduce paper use - and costs.

What was the program change?

At no material cost, we created a digital dialog box that asked employees to change their default printer setting to double-sided after employees had initiated a single-sided print job.

How did the evaluation work?

A randomized set of USDA employees received the pop-up that required a second mouse click before single-sided printing would occur. If the individual did not click “Print” after five minutes, the print job was deleted. The text of the pop-up notified individuals that if they changed their default settings to duplex, they would not face the pop-up in the future.


What was the impact?

This increased double-sided printing by 5.8%, thereby saving government money and resources.





Project Type

Impact evaluation of program change




Government Operations

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