Content and Readability


What can we do to improve the content on federal websites to make it more readable, engaging, and useful?

Content and Readability

High Contrast Test

In windows 7 when I go to High Contrast mode many of your websites look inconsistent. Be sure to double check website images, buttons, search button in High Contrast mode so it is still viewable.

Submitted by

Voting

4 votes
Active

Content and Readability

Consider document access on same or higher level than service.

"The document" is still very important in government, well, documentation of its activities, finding, decisions, orders, etc. Paper documents are a thing of the past, so most people need to search for an agency decision, bulletin, scientific report, or ruling online. There is no alternative. Access to important agency documents and publications is not at all standard, straightforward, or practical on federal government ...more »

Submitted by (@pg0000)

Voting

1 vote
Active

Content and Readability

Better Gov web-site structure

I would like to see a hierarchical structure set up so that a "drill down" approach could be used. At the top is the "government" node, then next is the 3 branches. Under the legislative branch would be two nodes for the house and senate. Under each chamber would be a listing of the bills that are in process, and a list of recent passed bills. I would like to know how my representatives voted on each bill. This ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

-6 votes
Active

Content and Readability

Avoid "welcome to" language and home page mission statements

Avoid wasted introductory language such as "Welcome to the XXXX website" and mission statements on home pages. Let people get down to business quickly.

Submitted by

Voting

14 votes
Active

Content and Readability

Keep it simple

The value of a web site is not only its content but in ease of accessibility and movement throughout the site. There is nothing more frustrating than to maneuver unsuccessfully and waste precious time in the process.

Submitted by

Voting

12 votes
Active

Content and Readability

Creating a dialogue

On regulations.gov, numerous citizens give a comment on a rule, but there is little incentive for them to interact and take into account what others think, i.e. have a dialogue rather than an affirmation of your personal opinion. The navigation does not help: the comments are by default not displaying when opening a docket folder, and the general list design of the page that always departs from the rule document does ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

4 votes
Active

Content and Readability

Easy to make repairs

In studying the usability of websites by under-educated individuals we have found that the site has to make it easy for a user to make repairs - correct themselves when they wind up somewhere they didn't want to be.

Repair skills of a user have to be matched with linguistic tools, visual and navigation aids that help in this process.

Submitted by

Voting

3 votes
Active

Content and Readability

Treat web sites as communication channels

Too often federal web sites are designed and managed as technical devices rather than channels for communication. Programs that sponsor web sites and web designers should be required to answer: who is the audience/end user and what do we know about their needs and wants? Then the program can decide if there is a clear purpose, what the content will be and how it will be presented. Best if they do that using a participatory ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

17 votes
Active

Content and Readability

Make Public Records Publicly Available

Rather than having to submit handwritten forms, wait 10 days, pay "copy and research fees" and ultimately be frustrated, put all public information online in a consistent and accessible format.

Submitted by

Voting

17 votes
Active

Content and Readability

Regulations.gov rules should be summarized

The average American has neither the time nor the inclination to read through hundreds of pages an agency has posted describing a proposed rule. To make the rule more accessible to nonlawyers, it would be helpful if a one- or two-page summary of the rule could be posted highlighting questions the agency needs answered. I also found the search function on the site was difficult to use if you didn't happen to know the ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

8 votes
Active

Content and Readability

content must be simplified

Time is limited for everyone who reads online materials. If content is produced in terms the lay person easily understands, engagement can follow with links. Transparency of government will engage citizens, but engagement fades with cluttered, jumbled websites full of specialized jargon. Set up links to more "in depth" information, instead of overloading the introductory page. Hire professional communication people. ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

14 votes
Active

Content and Readability

Provide easy to understand weather warnings - hurricane

It is often difficult to understand what is being conveyed by all of the charts on the http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ website. Can the average citizen info be put first? And the scientific stuff more towards the bottom of the page. Citizens want to know where will a hurricane hit, when should we evacuate, and what is a similar hurricane that we can compare the new hurricane to. -Charts that say "the cone shows the probable ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

-1 votes
Active