Take the next step and either allow voters to vote so their reps can know how to vote - or replace the reps and have the People decide directly. THAT is what federal, state and local governments should be doing with the Web. A whole new paradigm vs some trivial UI fixes....
Services and Transactions
What can we do to improve how services and transactions are delivered on federal websites?
All polls, petitions, bills on the floor (or coming to the floor), any public topic for that matter, should be subscribable by the user. These topics should be kept updated in real-time and these updates instantly broadcast to the list of subscribers. There should also be a feedback loop allowing the subscribers to instantly voice their opinion of the direction that specific topic is taking.
I use the GSA Finance website on a daily basis as a Lessor of real property to the Federal Government. This website is out-of-date, slow and inefficient. When logging in, multiple attempts are often needed just to access the homepage. Then you may be in the middle of a payment search or invoice submittal and get kicked off (note: I have had my company's IT department troubleshoot issues and all roads lead to the Finance ...more »
Augment and diversify the feedback from public hearings by posting online public comment forums that have the order and decorum of government meetings -- and thereby are legal, civil and fair as well as insightful and cost-effective. For examples of online public comment forums, check-out Salt Lake City's Open City Hall service: http://www.slcgov.com/opencityhall/
Some actions require paper documentation from more than one source. Some agencies will not accept documentation from separate sources separately. Users should be able to set up account numbers that documents can flow to asynchronously, e.g. my employer sends a document to the agency or acts on my online account, I separately provide information for the same multi-party transaction without having to gather and combine ...more »
Consolidate all commercial systems for functions related to travel, payroll/personnel, and finance across the government. This will ensure consistency, tranferrability, and economy of scale by using the best in breed commercial Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) technology
As part of all federal funded programs transperancy and success, grantees should demonstrate how these funds contribute to capacity building.
Too many agencies build complex customer self-service systems that are heavily branded with program names and acronyms. Citizens don't care about what system is providing the information or service they seek—they just need to find or accomplish something important. Case in point: USPTO's patent and trademark search. These systems should be created and exposed as services that the web teams can include as appropriate across ...more »
Some websites allow online transactions, others don't. Everything should be uniformly actionable online. There should be a standard template across agencies so that users know how to navigate any government site.
In cities including New York and San Francisco, you can call 311 or visit a site, and get help or report problems to be fixed.
A single site like that for the Federal gov't would really help. You could search for an existing solution, and get directed to the right place for help.
There are many variants of this possible, like having the request automatically directed to the people with the answers.
Currently, memorial V.A. flags are 'not' distributed to family of deceased from the V.A., but mailed to the local post office branches for distribution to mortuaries, upon receipt of a paper application form. This costs the Federal Government a minimum of $12 per flag, including manufacture, postage and handling fees. Why not have a website that would allow each flag to be ordered, for the deceased veteran, online with ...more »
Currently transacting online with State and Federal websites often means paying a high convenience fee for using Credit Cards and a Cumbersome interface for e-checks. There are companies who are using technologies in this space to both improve the User experience. Look at companies such as www.noca.com and www.wepay.com which are attempting to do this
While it's true that the Web must be optimized around top tasks and the like, usability tests and other Web analytics only tell Web Managers about their *current* users. Frequently absent from the conversation are the people who *want* to use an agency's Web site. Top tasks & content should be informed by mail, phone, and social media channels ... analytics must synthesize *across* these channels to help drive people ...more »
(I feel that this is also a customer service issue, but the real discussion is at the following, please check it out:
So, we have this site called "Recalls.gov" and it's a great cross-agency aggregator for information on product recalls. But what we haven't done is set up a one-stop shop for consumers to SUBMIT complaints for agencies to investigate. Citizens still need to figure out what agency has jurisdiction over the product they want to complain about. What citizen is going to know that they should complain about their child safety ...more »