Policies and Principles


What practices, policies, and principles should guide the federal web in the next 5 years?

Campaign: Policies and Principles

Make usability testing and 508 testing required PRIOR to launch

Launching sites without usability testing and 508 testing is a waste of time and money - it's always more expensive to fix these issues when left to the last minute. Rather, institutionalizing user testing (like GSA's First Fridays, for example) as well as 508 testing into the development cycle of government websites will result in better, more efficient and cheaper products .

Submitted by (@jonathanrubin)

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139 votes
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Campaign: Policies and Principles

Make Government Website Mobile Accessible

Every government webiste should be able to be accessed via a mobile devices whether by citizens or government employees.

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121 votes
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Campaign: Policies and Principles

Needed: Web manager for **every** site

The problem of not knowing who is in charge of a website should not exist. Every site should have a web manager who has ultimate control over the content of that site, and who people should contact in terms of needing posts, edits, etc. It shouldn't be a mystery. While we're at it, it might not hurt to have content leads listed at the bottom of each page as well, as well as the date last updated.

Submitted by (@jonathanrubin)

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79 votes
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Campaign: Policies and Principles

Discontinue Usage of IE6

IE6 is extremely buggy and outdated. It is increasingly more and more difficult to design websites with IE6 in mind. There is no good reason why one should be using IE6 15 years after it was created.

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69 votes
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Campaign: Policies and Principles

Find ways for agencies to work together

Create a central resource for all agency web teams to communicate, share code, establish conventions, and learn from one another. Then put a premium on making agency systems interoperable (probably through APIs because unification on a single platform is a pipe-dream). With agencies working together to establish conventions, the building and maintenance of federal websites would be far more efficient, enabling a reduction ...more »

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65 votes
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Campaign: Policies and Principles

Add the ability to flag a web page for outdated, incorrectness.

Give the users the ability to flag a page for a broken link, missing content, outdated or incorrect content. This would actually help government keep their web pages updated instead of relying on link-checkers. These flags for outdated or incorrect content could be a metric that agencies use to measure quality. Additionally it could help agencies implement this Executive Order--Streamlining Service Delivery and Improving ...more »

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60 votes
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Campaign: Policies and Principles

Open Web Analytics for EVERY .gov website

Make data about web stats for all .gov public. Figure out single data format and setup continuos release of this data to public with uniform UI (e.g. something like Google Analytics will be perfect)

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53 votes
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Campaign: Policies and Principles

Finding who to contact

Many websites do not contain an easily seen contact person. All websites should have a contact person (phone number/email address) for each substantive page.

If websites have organizational charts, name and phone

number and email address for each position should be part of the website

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52 votes
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Campaign: Policies and Principles

Keep the appointees out of the weeds.

Federal communications to the citizen should not be biased with political motives or agendas. While this is a near impossible endeavor, it is probably the single most valuable one to take on. (IMHO) Citizens should be able to TRUST the government agencies and what they have to say. Right now, the political appointees govern too much of what IS actually said, for political gain. We have all seen it (if you have worked ...more »

Submitted by (@cjguru)

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48 votes
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Campaign: 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 »

Submitted by

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46 votes
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Campaign: 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.

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39 votes
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Campaign: Policies and Principles

Simple Web Adresses

Simple web addresses should be displayed/used. The below site should be www.usda.gov/fsa/sd/offices not http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=sd&agency=fsa

 

At least have a button on the page to copy the simple link if it can't display in the browser.

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36 votes
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