Campaign: Usability and Design

Commit to best practices

The main issue with government sites is that many of them are being run by people whose idea of the Web stopped growing around 2002. There are Web basics--testing with real users, formative user research, and advanced metrics and analytics programs--that everyone in the commercial sector is doing. The government needs to get with the program or risk total irrelevance. Another hint: ease off on Twitter and Facebook. You ...more »

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92 votes
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Campaign: Accessibility

Train web developers beyond Section 508

Some of the most important accessibility best practices are not required by Section 508. Logically ordered heading tags for example, or links with clear purpose (instead of "click here", "Read our August 2011 Newsletter"). It seems everyone simply adds ALT attributes to images and calls it a day. We need to train web developers and designers in more than basic Section 508 and ensure they understand accessibility beyond ...more »

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60 votes
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Campaign: Search

SEO as standard practice

Ensure that every new site follows the basic principals of optimizing its content for search engine ranking. Too many sites don't even contain the keywords commonly used by most people to describe the primary subject area of the site.

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56 votes
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Campaign: Usability and Design

Interview Users Before Redesign Kickoff

Timing is everything. Doing user research (usability testing) after the redesign is too late in the process. Find what your target audience needs by conducting user interviews early in the project. Avoid learning what you have done wrong by the time is too late to fix it.

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30 votes
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Campaign: Data, Apps, APIs...

Create and Maintain Coding Libraries for Government Use

JQuery-style coding (or scripting) libraries should be created for government use - allowing for greater standardization, cross-compatibility, and compliance across government websites. These libraries could also then be regularly updated and maintained by government staff (who have the government's best interest in mind). This concept would be similar to a open-source development platform - but limited to government ...more »

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14 votes
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Campaign: 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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Campaign: Search

Speed

Institute best practices for speed (cache pages, use CDNs and so on) so that content loads quickly on any device with any connection.

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13 votes
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Campaign: Policies and Principles

Leverage HTML5/CSS3 vs Apps for Mobile Data

As vendor advertising continues to grow, content providers will beg for apps for specific platforms -- iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and even WebOS (don't laugh). The way forward, however, is platform independent development and delivery with the native language of the web: HTML5 and CSS3. Plan accordingly.

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12 votes
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Campaign: Policies and Principles

Have a Website to Improve Government

it seems to me that a key factor in improving government websites is to have websites with content that's important to people.Content that's relevant. One of the most important issues of today is improving government, period So what about a website that takes in and exchanges ideas among government employees and the citizens on how to improve government. For example people can talk about issues to reduce wasteful spending ...more »

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8 votes
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Campaign: Policies and Principles

Content based best practice modeling

It's unlikely the a best practices model can be created on a one-size fits all scenario. Rather, consider developing a "best practices" model based on specific content of gov webs. These "sub-practice" models would serve as guidelines for gov webs based on the type of content they must deploy including categories such as: 1. Services / service sector 2. Research / Education, Industry 3. Information searching and feedback ...more »

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3 votes
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