Campaign: Services and Transactions

Create content around topics/customers - not agencies

Customers don't know - and don't care to know - how government is organized. So why make them go from agency (website) to agency (website) to get the full picture of what govt has to offer them on any subject? Why make them go through a long list of links on USA.gov? Why not get agencies together around content topics or customer groups(owning a home, sending kids to college, services for seniors, contractors) and ...more »

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160 votes
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Campaign: Content and Readability

Differentiate between ephemeral and evergreen content

Some content remains valid for a long time, and serves as an ongoing resource. Other content primarily serves the purpose of providing an update, but becomes dated and inaccurate quickly. Consciously consider the differences and act accordingly. I've seen it happen time and again where really solid content that has been carefully crafted for a long life gets drowned out by press-releasy stuff because they are in the ...more »

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64 votes
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Campaign: Policies and Principles

Use consistent terminology

If a technical term is used, define it in short, easy sentences and use the same term consistently throughout the site. Provide these definitions in a clearly visible glossary. As an example, start with the term "tax table" and end with it, rather than switching to "rate schedule."

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14 votes
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Campaign: Policies and Principles

People, process, technology

Be sure to include your organization's mission and a vision. PEOPLE: Hire competent people Hire passionate, caring people Hire meticulous, attentive people Consider users ages Consider users knowledge level Consider users patience level PROCESS: Establish your site's purpose Decide on how you will achieve this purpose (Push-Pull of data/information/knowledge) Create a simple, navigable structure Mind the taxonomy: ...more »

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8 votes
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Campaign: Search

Give choice: Search OR Browse databases

It's frustrating to search with no results repeatedly. Categories and terminology are often arbitrary, so it would remove a barrier to allow simple browsing.

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8 votes
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Campaign: Search

Standardized, humanized taxonomy

I imagine there are dozens of standard taxonomies and nomenclatures for .gov websites. They should be coordinated and combined and then humanized (remove or cross-reference the "alphabet soup", nonsensical/technical jargon). The final taxonomy should be assumed to be a "living" taxonomy (one that is constantly changing with our culture) and not "set in stone". The taxonomy should be public and shareable with non-government ...more »

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3 votes
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Campaign: Usability and Design

Organize by customer type then topic

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 »

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-2 votes
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Campaign: Content in other languages

Use "folksonomy" not taxomomy for multi-language/culture sites

In many situations it is important to use the terminology that is used my the locals, and not the "official" government language.

 

An example of this can be in a pull down menu for "country"... Although the official name name is "Republic of the Union of Myanmar" people know it as BURMA.

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-4 votes
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