"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 »
When looking for an accessible web solution, agencies should consult people in the disability community. Specifically, the National Federation of the Blind and other advocacy groups not only represent tens of thousands of disabled people, but organizations like the NFB commonly have specialists on staff who can point an agency in the right direction. In addition, because federal purchasing power spurs the development ...more »
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.
Test multilingual content / design with representative users to ensure usability and understand audience needs.
The main issue with government sites is that many of them are being run by people whose idea of the Web stopped growing around 2002. There are Web basics--testing with real users, formative user research, and advanced metrics and analytics programs--that everyone in the commercial sector is doing. The government needs to get with the program or risk total irrelevance. Another hint: ease off on Twitter and Facebook. You ...more »