Make government websites attractive to the eye by using animated GIFs. Most of my favorite websites use these everywhere. They're best used throughout the page one after another. Ones with animals are usually the best.
Usability and Design
What can we do to improve the usability, navigation, and design of federal websites?
Do you think SharePoint is a great idea to use for federal government sites?
Navigation is the biggest challenge on all government websites. Standardize the UI across the board. Stick to a consistent overall page layout, consolidate and use the same UI widgets. Don't make users think. Update with elaboration from my latest comment: I think I might have been a bit too broad. Let me elaborate and see if this makes more sense to everyone. First, the problem I'm trying to solve is that of trouble ...more »
What makes GOOGLE so useful is the very clean front-end (a single search box ... difficult to get cleaner than that!) and search results that are relevant. Too many government websites are the anti-google. It is particularly telling when government content can be found more easily on GOOGLE than it can on a government site itself. And just to clarify ... my point was not that .gov websites should be THE SAME as google ...more »
To foster familiarity and avoid reinventing the wheel, using de facto web presence leaders as your paradigm
Instead of having a person for each division or job that is within the park on the websites updating, etc., etc., have all parks hire a WEBSITE person (s). This way you have one or two people that know all the ins and outs of the web process, one or two people that keep up with the updates, one or two people that can create a user friendly web experience. While uniformity is good throughout the park service each parks ...more »
http://web-reform-dialogue.ideascale.com/a/dtd/Take-a-Closer-Look-at-Priorities/84309-4097 and here is my comment: Real life example...my SIL was just hired by VA. She has never been a govt employee. I have been one for over 20 yrs. She called to ask what the FEGLI, FERS, TSP, and OASBI was on her pay stub, because she wants every dollar she can get and wants to get rid of these 'things' that are being deducted. I ...more »
I have an investment account with a firm whose website first asks if I'm an individual or a business. I have a savings account with a bank whose website first asks which country I live in and if I'm trying to do credit card, savings, checking, loans, etc. I looked up some medical information on the CDC website and it had separate areas for the general public and medical professionals that stemmed from the same page. ...more »
Some lists to choose from are longer than contract. They could be broken up into bite (pardon the pun) sized bits (PTP) so no one chokes.
You posed a question about how to improve federal websites. My suggestion is look at commercial sites that people use in everyday life that are easy to use and require the least amount of clicking page to page. The issue I have with federal agency websites is there no consistency and you have to link down more than two or three levels sometimes to get information. Also everything should be tagged for accessibility ...more »
The new websites are fine the problem is communication of what is contained on each one. usa.gov is great if you're building maps or searching for data. What is needed is a separate WIKI page for suggestions, ideas, blogs, calanders, tutorials, videos, etc.... A good example would be http://wiki.gis.com/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
Currently, there is no way for commenters to interact and share ideas. It could be beneficial for there to be a forum where users could interact to improve their ideas and learn from each other before commenting on proposed federal rules.
If someone is searching for something, and gets redirected, this sometimes it becomes and endless circle of disappointment.
Maybe after 5 bad search results you could set up an answer box where someone could write a discription of what they want to find, send a message, and get an e-mail response to thier problem.
The new AFF is not user friendly especially for those who are not skilled researchers. I have taught 2 workshops on AFF; one to librarians and another PhD's. Both groups came away frustrated and more confused when they started. If skilled researchers have problems using the site, how are those whose search skills are confined to Google like searches supposed to access information.
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 »