Usability and Design

Standardize the layout on every site

Navigation is the biggest challenge on all government websites. Standardize the UI across the board. Stick to a consistent overall page layout, consolidate and use the same UI widgets. Don't make users think. Update with elaboration from my latest comment: I think I might have been a bit too broad. Let me elaborate and see if this makes more sense to everyone. First, the problem I'm trying to solve is that of trouble... more »

Voting

-24 votes
Active
(@carla.briceno)

Content in other languages

Ensure content for multilingual audiences is culturally-relevant

Ensure content for multilingual & LEP audiences is culturally-relevant, not just a word for word translation of the content developed for English speakers. This is particularly important for certain types of information, such as health-related information, but should be considered early on in the process of understanding audiences and developing websites, not after the site has been fully developed in English.

Voting

37 votes
Active

Policies and Principles

Need coordinated teams of specialists vs. too few generalists

One thing I hate to see is agencies where the people managing the web don't have adequate teams and support, and may need training themselves but are spread so thin that they are forced to be generalists instead of specialists. The web should be staffed adequately, and employ modern technology (content management systems, anyone?), not be an afterthought in communication, PR and/or IT staffing needs. Sure, we need... more »

Voting

46 votes
Active
(@cjguru)

Content and Readability

Enable easy ranking/satisfaction of content

Make it mandatory that all pages/content be enabled with a simple satisfaction rating of that page/content. Perhaps using the 5 star rating. Current ACSI surveys are too bulky and limit the number of responses (13% response rates are "good"). A simple "Was the content on this page helpful?" or similar would be more effective and could be mashed-up into dashboards for measuring individual author, subsite, search engine,... more »

Voting

29 votes
Active

Content in other languages

Create a Federal Localization Team

Providing federal websites in foreign languages is important, but the process is difficult, costly and requires specialized technology and resources. The government should create a centralized localization team that would manage all aspects of localization. From determining what content to localize, what languages to use to actually localizing content. This team would be responsible for sourcing the appropriate technology... more »

Voting

8 votes
Active

Usability and Design

Optimize user paths

Before re-designing an existing site or beginning the design or development of a new site, determine who is going to be using the site and what they will be trying to do there. Optimize the site organization and user flows for easy and frustration-free accomplishment of their primary tasks/goals in using the site.

Voting

77 votes
Active

Policies and Principles

Consolidate health information on the web

There are too many competing sources of government health information. It's a waste of resources, they cannibalize each other's page rankings and branding, and it confuses users. Health.gov, at present just a place holder, could be the easy-to-find home page for government health info on the web.

Voting

39 votes
Active

Beyond Websites (Mobile, Broadband...)

Use the network

Large websites have a very difficult time changing with the times. They trap valuable content deep within them and by their hierarchical nature over time bury the content no matter how well a site is organized. I think you need to separate the content from the publishing. Social media shows us the first baby steps of how to do this. Content needs to be topical and timely and most of all in the places that people visit... more »

Voting

2 votes
Active

Policies and Principles

create standard project management plan for all web development

We keep reinventing the wheel again, and again, and again...and again. Again. Create a template project management plan and guide for website and web application contracts and projects. Create a bunch of standard requirements and checklists. Update them annually. Ensure that all new and upgraded sites follow this template. That way you can ensure that most of the non-business specific requirements for government... more »

Voting

5 votes
Active

Accessibility

efficiency, jobs & QA: accessibility funding for dedicated staff

Trying to train everyone on the finer points of 508 and related accessibility is inefficient and a losing proposition. Take all of the money spent on 508 training and repurpose it to hire dedicated, experienced experts to help with publishing and accessibility compliance. Agencies should receive funding for centralized, dedicated staff that have time and skills to review and publish web, print, video, etc. and make... more »

Voting

23 votes
Active

Accessibility

HTML5 and Semantic Content

Use semantic content and markup so that relevant content is easily found through search engines. Allow content managers to easily tag content for SEO, so that people can find the relevant information that are looking for.

 

Harness HTML5 in forms and use micro-formats when applicable. This would greatly improve the the experience for the growing amount of users on mobile devices.

Voting

57 votes
Active