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

Search

SEO as standard practice

Ensure that every new site follows the basic principals of optimizing its content for search engine ranking. Too many sites don't even contain the keywords commonly used by most people to describe the primary subject area of the site.

Voting

56 votes
Active
(@andrewpwilson)

Social Media

Develop Social Media as a Customer Service Channel

Social Media has tremendous potential as a customer service channel and is being used effectively in the private sector. Greater attention should be paid to using social media to help the public find information they need. One model for this would be to empower and encourage all government employees to help point the public to government websites/ resources/ services as these issues are raised on the social media platforms... more »

Voting

39 votes
Active
(@ehs000)

Search

enable findability by using sitemaps and robots.txt

For search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc) to be able to properly index websites it helps for the website to publish a sitemap http://www.sitemaps.org/ Sitemaps are a vendor neutral way for websites to list URLs that they would like crawled and optionally when the resources were last updated. Additionally a robots.txt http://www.robotstxt.org/robotstxt.html is used to identify the location of the sitemap, and also... more »

Voting

27 votes
Active

Search

Index Website

Create a website with simple html text such as that used in www.craigslist.org that subdivides all the ".gov" websites into one page. For example all the science category such as NASA, NSF, NOAA, DARPA, and others would be under one section. Knowing what the federal government provides and where to find is important and should be easily accessible. One example that comes to mind is the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov)... more »

Voting

21 votes
Active

Search

Speed

Institute best practices for speed (cache pages, use CDNs and so on) so that content loads quickly on any device with any connection.

Voting

13 votes
Active

Policies and Principles

Establish Better, Universal Metrics

Establish metrics on web traffic, usage, and feedback that are cross-platform and easily gathered. (For example, although ForSee results are easily interpreted, they are not "easily gathered" as the survey is pricey.) Establish guidelines for what websites should track (visitors? views? return visitors? tweets? back links?) etc. and what "good" is in each of those metrics. Then report on these metrics within departments... more »

Voting

11 votes
Active

Search

Cross-departmental searchability

Have a main search engine that will search the infromation and data on all governemnt sites. Sometimes it vague which department has the infromation on a subject. A general search based that uses key-word tag technology would eliminate the user having to navigate multiple government websites to find what they are looking for.

Voting

10 votes
Active

Usability and Design

Provide user assistance when a search provides a null result

This is a cut/paste of a search result message (that was buried) on a HealthIT.hhs.gov site: Your Search Results: Showing 1-0 of 0 Products Found First of, it would be impossible to show 1 - 0 products when zero were found. Second, instead of that poorly worded message, government websites search should user plain language to tell them that there search did not yield any results, and should make a suggestion that... more »

Voting

10 votes
Active

Search

Search Becomes Strategic - Tied to User Experience

With the recent changes at Google, fixing the search functionality for .gov websites becomes more closely tied to the user experience. This means bringing in user experience professionals who have deep knowledge/expertise in search technology (that powers the site search for these sites) OR search professionals who has a strong background in user experience and information architecture. All too often, designing a successful... more »

Voting

9 votes
Active

Policies and Principles

People, process, technology

Be sure to include your organization's mission and a vision. PEOPLE: Hire competent people Hire passionate, caring people Hire meticulous, attentive people Consider users ages Consider users knowledge level Consider users patience level PROCESS: Establish your site's purpose Decide on how you will achieve this purpose (Push-Pull of data/information/knowledge) Create a simple, navigable structure Mind the taxonomy:... more »

Voting

8 votes
Active