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.

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Policies and Principles

Competitive Rating System

Track competition for specific industries and offer grants and micro-loans for new startups to beef up competition on low rating sectors. Offer high rating sector companies incentives to switch and compete in struggling or non-competitive sectors.

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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 »

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Policies and Principles

Link website design & organizational/operational infrastructure

Government websites should help the government accomplish its strategic objectives--and help citizens and residents participate in and make use of their government. Often what gets in the way is internal government processes & protocols: contracting processes that separate the design of a website from its development, or cultural barriers that dictate unnecessary constraints from the onset, for instance. These things ...more »

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Policies and Principles

Use specialists to build your web content

Writing, organizing, and structuring an agency or department's web content takes specialized skills that the guy in the end cube with spare time likely doesn't have. Agencies need to dedicate resources with the right skills—writing, customer service, UX—to build, maintain, and manage web content. It's a full-time, ongoing job for an entire team to keep an agency's content current and accessible.

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Services and Transactions

Provide access to services, not systems

Too many agencies build complex customer self-service systems that are heavily branded with program names and acronyms. Citizens don't care about what system is providing the information or service they seek—they just need to find or accomplish something important. Case in point: USPTO's patent and trademark search. These systems should be created and exposed as services that the web teams can include as appropriate across ...more »

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Social Media

Make it known

Make it known to people where to voice their "votes" on any proposal. And READ / REACT to their comments.

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Policies and Principles

Online public voting on policies and bills before they go to Con

Create a VOTE NOW. GOV site (and make it known to US population) so that The People can vote on anything going to congress for approval, or not. Congress is holding up valuable changes because of personal issues. This country is made up of more then congressmen and Senators. Whether Republican or Democrat, Black AND/or White, the people of this country have a RIGHT to SPEAK and BE HEARD! on ANYTHING that is proposed in ...more »

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Policies and Principles

Go from Complete Redesigns to Incremental Continuous Change

We should be using models of incremental, metrics based continuous change on Federal sites, and getting rid of the whole concept that we need complete and utter redesigns every so many years.

 

Build on the good that your site does, and continually improve, improve, improve... in 3 years your site won't look like it does today, and it will be better.

 

A complete redesign just guarantees change, not improvement.

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Usability and Design

Use Personas

"Personas are archetypal users of an intranet or website that represent the needs of larger groups of users, in terms of their goals and personal characteristics. They act as ‘stand-ins’ for real users and help guide decisions about functionality and design." I'm seeing a lot of posts about user task analysis, user path analysis, user centered design.... but nothing about personas. No, a good persona won't replace usability ...more »

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Go big or go home!

Web managers may walk away from this discussion with the intention of applying one or two of these suggestions to an existing site design. Those web managers will just be wasting time. The way forward is an extensive review of your users needs and your agency's mission, and the primary way you organize the existing and future data and applications presented on your site. Anything less is just nibbling at the edges, ...more »

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