Usability and Design

Animated GIFs

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.

Voting

-42 votes
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Policies and Principles

Allow advertising on .gov websites

I think by now people are pretty good at distinguishing between content and the sponsorship of that content. With all of the wailing and gnashing of teeth about the deficit and the costs of government services, why not allow these government websites to become a source of revenue? A corporation that is balking at paying its fair share of taxes might be more interested if they could get credit for sponsoring cancer.gov, ...more »

Voting

-36 votes
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Policies and Principles

Patriotic theme on home pages

It's sad that our Federal dept websites have very few patriotic designs in them, especially the White House one, which has just a little US flag icon. Also, I think a few historical notes here and there would be a nice touch.

We should never stop acknowledging our rich heritage.

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-25 votes
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Search

Celebrity Playlist-like content

Give celebrity industry experts like Clark Howard and Suze Orman access to their own .gov page. Allow them to list their own favorite US Gov website URLs kind of like iTunes does "Celebrity Playlists". These celebs would no doubt mention, promote and link to their .gov pages which in turn helps engines and users.

Voting

-25 votes
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Usability and Design

Standardize the layout on every site

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 »

Voting

-24 votes
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Content and Readability

A users forum to accompany every .gov website.

In the web design community, the use of moderated forums has been huge for the advancement of best practices and crowd-sourced customer support. Two examples that come to mind are: http://wordpress.org/support http://stackexchange.com Communities like these help to quickly answer user's questions, offer helpful advice, share experiences, etc. This would add a human voice to the often dry and frankly, unreadable instructions ...more »

Voting

-16 votes
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(@markericksonkirk)

Usability and Design

Make it look (& function) like GOOGLE

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 »

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-12 votes
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Policies and Principles

Option on site for 508 compatibility

Allow those who require 508 features and accomodations to select a version of the site with those features. Otherwise the site can contain any design elements that best display the content. These two different "modes" meet the spirt of 508, if not the letter.

Voting

-11 votes
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IT and Infrastructure

Good and Bad Idea: Open Source Technologies

It is imperative the government uses Open Source Technologies, but to a predefined extent. Meaning, yes they should use technologies such as UNIX, Apache, Tomcat and other Open Source software technologies, mind you, software that's always being tested and patched to keep it safe and secure. Yet, when it comes to the actual content management systems and other vital information aggregation and dissemination systems, in ...more »

Voting

-10 votes
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Content and Readability

Create audience categories for language level

Some pages need to be written in plain English while other pages may be intended for a technical audience (say, scientists in a field). Pages could be classified as "kids" "adults" "advanced users" "technical" depending on what they need to do. Different policies can be followed on different type pages

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-9 votes
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Social Media

Not Requiring Duplicate Information on the .gov

One consideration would be to remove the requirement (whether it's written or implied through other policies) that if the government posts something to a third-party site (e.g. YouTube) then they're also required to post (and host) that same content on their own .gov site. This seems to be the implied rule and can end up leading to additional resources being expended which otherwise would not need to be. Granted, there ...more »

Voting

-7 votes
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