Usability and Design

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Effective Public Use of Regulations.gov

Making proposed rules, comments, and other documents available on Regulations.gov is a good first step to public accessibility. However, there are usability issues that make this access ineffective for the average user. Documents themselves should be more readable. It may seem petty, but the current font is outdated and unreadable. Updating to Times New Roman or another font that users are more familiar with will ...more »

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2 votes
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Content in other languages

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Consider education level of multicultural audiences

Cultural relevancy is of utmost importance, especially in the healthcare and educational realms. However, it is key to keep in mind that there are members of the LEP audience that do not have a working reading level in their own native language, let alone a low degree of Internet literacy. Pertinent website content may require an audio component to further reach an audience that hails from a more oral tradition. Another ...more »

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4 votes
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Usability and Design

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Allow Ajax and other Web 2.0 technologies on Citizen sites

For various reasons many of the current websites for government agencies do not support AJAX (or other RIA technology) and as a result have a poor user experience due to limited interactivity. A rich internet experience can provide citizens with some confidence that our government is using "state of the art" technology (and hopefully internal procedures) when processing our applications, etc. Some features that I'd ...more »

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1 vote
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Usability and Design

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Usable with Any Browser

Some federal websites have been designed to work with specific browsers. Websites should be viewable and usable with any browser on any operating system. For example, one DOT website is only usable with Internet Explorer. Individuals who typically use Firefox or Chrome or any other browser are forced to download and use IE. Mac users are out of luck.

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33 votes
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Accessibility

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Accessibility Focused Dialogue-a-Thon

Greetings all and thanks very much for joining. Thanks especially for your interest in accessibility and universal design. Today’s topic is Universal Access and has to do with ensuring equal access by citizens with disabilities, those in low bandwidth situations, and those who may use older technologies or assistive devices to access federal web sites and applications. I am joined by Jared Smith and Jim Thatcher ...more »

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1 vote
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Content and Readability

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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 »

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-1 votes
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Usability and Design

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Every Agency Should Have UX Expert on Staff

I know, budgets are tight, layoffs are imminent, non-professionals can do simple product tests, but does your agency have a budget analyst? A configuration manager? A security specialist? In America, what we value, we pay for. If an agency says that that good customer experience is a business priority, it must have a UX professional on staff. Period. Even contracting for a usability vendor is difficult without a UX professional ...more »

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16 votes
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Usability and Design

Submitted by (@maria.marrero)

Build in accessibility during the visual design phase.

Graphic designers should work closely with accessibility /508 experts before implementing a design into a website. Some accessibility issues can be avoided or/and fixed early during the visual design phase. For example, some of the principals that should be considered to make a design accessible are: Color contrast, use of CAPS, font size, heading structure, reading order, form controls. A great related resource: http://webaim.org/resources/designers/#infographic ...more »

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31 votes
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Usability and Design

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Do not strand the user

Every time an action can be taken, provide the link next to the information, not somewhere else on the page. If there is software required, provide the link to download the software. For instance I am on the patent office site and there is a missing plug-in. It shows the logo of the missing plug-in but not the name of the product or a link to get to it. Without even having the name I can't search for the plug-in. This ...more »

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15 votes
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Policies and Principles

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Make every website usable by "Average Joe Americans"

Many of the publically available websites are designed for "insider wonks" not for "Average Joe Americans" -- example being the query sites to access government documents where you need a PhD and read a 1000 page "how to" document before you can figure out how to query for what you need. Another example being trying to figure out how to download historical weather data from NOAA -- which appears to be set up to meet ...more »

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21 votes
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