Timing is everything. Doing user research (usability testing) after the redesign is too late in the process. Find what your target audience needs by conducting user interviews early in the project. Avoid learning what you have done wrong by the time is too late to fix it.
I'd like to see the federal government - under the Customer Service Initiative - issue a "Customer Bill of Rights" or a "Promise to Customers" and use that as the core set of principles for improving websites, call centers, and other forms of service delivery. A good place to start is the 6 principles the Federal Web Managers Council laid out in its 2008 White Paper: Putting Citizens First - Transforming Online Government. ...more »
Consolidating and eliminating websites for the sake of consolidating and eliminating websites misses the point of websites. Agencies and their myriad programs' web strategies should be driven by the missions they're trying to accomplish. Websites, mobile apps, social media presences are communication and community engagement tools that should be strategically employed to enable agencies and programs to achieve their ...more »
Consistent with the intent of section 10 of the GPRA Modernization Act, it would be good to publish the National Web Strategy in machine-readable format (e.g., StratML) and report via the Performance.gov site actual results achieved in pursuit of the objectives set forth in the plan. (If the strategy is not directly published in StratML format, I volunteer to convert it, for inclusion in our collection at http://xml.gov/stratml/drybridge/index.htm) ...more »
How are great websites created? One common success factor is a culture of innovation. Yes, usability, testing, plain language - these are all important ingredients. But the higher-level strategic vision to promote, support and sustain these tactical solutions is typically lacking in government. To fulfill its purpose and to compete with commercial websites, the government needs to take its cues from the for-profit world ...more »