Usability and Design


What can we do to improve the usability, navigation, and design of federal websites?

Usability and Design

Consolidate all agency hiring into one website

Most agencies have separate web sites to apply for their job offerings. USAJOBS.GOV has some information that will transfer into agency web sites, but the applicant still usually has to create a new account and profile, and fill out all new information pages at each agency web site, in addition to what they created in USAJOBS.GOV. If possible, create one standardized web site, or modify USAJOBS.GOV, that can lead the ...more »

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20 votes
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Usability and Design

Analytics Support

One of the hardest things for agency sites is having consistent methods, and tools, for measuring web statistics and analyzing those data to make informed recommendations on improving websites and other outreach efforts. If the government had a consistent approach to measurement and analytics for web presences (mobile, traditional, social) then we could all be working from the same page and making sure we're doing what ...more »

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19 votes
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Usability and Design

New title for MedlinePlus?

MedlinePlus is a very useful site, but the name often gives people (both consumers and health providers) the idea that it is a super-clinically oriented version of Medline. While on a project visiting rural health clinics throughout the state, many providers indicated that they had not realized what MedlinePlus was or that it had patient information. The name intimidates people from trying it. Possible to change the name ...more »

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19 votes
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Usability and Design

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

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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Usability and Design

Government websites are the same as mainstream websites (almost)

Regarding usability, government websites are mostly the same as mainstream websites, and there is no need to reinvent the wheel. 3 reasons: a) Jakob's Law of the Internet User Experience states that "users spend most of their time on *other* sites than your site" and form their expectations for your site based on their cumulative experience on those many other sites. b) Most Web design guidelines are the same across ...more »

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13 votes
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Usability and Design

Group like content, improve readability, scanability

Government websites are very outdated, and even the ones that have had redesigns recently still feel very clunky. Contrast is good, agreeing with Section 508. Most, if not all of the sites boast solid darks on lights which aid in readability, however, leading (space between lines of text) is very tight in many cases. Paragraph spacing should be consistent. Headings should be consistent. Links should be clear, and also ...more »

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12 votes
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Usability and Design

Make USA.gov user friendly - show interaction between agencies

After looking at the ideas presented in this forum, I saw websites referenced that I had never heard of before. I agree with the concept of a central starting point for easy accessibility but I do not think we need to reinvent the wheel either. Instead I suggest updated/altering USA.gov to meet many of the needs presented in this forum: (1) Provide more options in USA.gov to help users navigate the maze of services ...more »

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12 votes
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(@stevekrug)

Usability and Design

Create a "buddy system" between agencies

Each agency could have a usability/UX "buddy" agency, sort of like the "sister cities" concept. They could look out for each other, act as volunteer participants in usability tests (which suggests that the agencies shouldn't be too similar in mission and content), and just generally report issues they see and make suggestions. I know I'm not capturing it quite right; perhaps some of you can refine it. But the idea of ...more »

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11 votes
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Usability and Design

Permalink to current Weekly Address Video

I embed the current week's President's Weekly Address Video on my website. I have to update the link every Saturday. I would really appreciate it if you would establish a permanent link to the current week's video. That way I could just use the embed code for the permanent link and my website would always display the current message.

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10 votes
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Usability and Design

Organize topically (across Agencies)

most people do not understand the nuisances of government structure and should not have to look in multiple places to find the same type of information. Disaster preparedness is a great example. the information is everywhere. It should be aggregated, organized around user questions and simplified.

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10 votes
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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 »

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10 votes
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