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We should be using models of incremental, metrics based continuous change on Federal sites, and getting rid of the whole concept that we need complete and utter redesigns every so many years.
Build on the good that your site does, and continually improve, improve, improve... in 3 years your site won't look like it does today, and it will be better.
A complete redesign just guarantees change, not improvement.
"Personas are archetypal users of an intranet or website that represent the needs of larger groups of users, in terms of their goals and personal characteristics. They act as ‘stand-ins’ for real users and help guide decisions about functionality and design." I'm seeing a lot of posts about user task analysis, user path analysis, user centered design.... but nothing about personas. No, a good persona won't replace usability ...more »
Can we say that in 2011-2012 the average user can tell the difference between website A and website B and get rid of the intersticials and disclaimers?
They serve no legal purpose and they junk up the user experience.
Establish metrics on web traffic, usage, and feedback that are cross-platform and easily gathered. (For example, although ForSee results are easily interpreted, they are not "easily gathered" as the survey is pricey.) Establish guidelines for what websites should track (visitors? views? return visitors? tweets? back links?) etc. and what "good" is in each of those metrics. Then report on these metrics within departments ...more »
One of the suggestions we hear a lot is to discard pages and sites which don't get a lot of traffic. However, we need to, as a government which serves all of the people, not just most of the people, be very careful of that idea. Because if popularity decides what's online, you'll never see information about topics like orphan diseases, or a small national park hidden in the Oklahoma/Texas panhandle, etc. The Internet ...more »
Right now I can't point coworkers (and they have asked) to a repository of best practices. Usability.gov is good, but it's getting dated. The GSA stuff is hard to find, and Max doesn't let people in without an account. Create a site with usability and design best practices and case studies, make it follow those best practices, and keep it up to date. Maybe with data driven information there will be less wheel-reinvention? ...more »
It's very, very difficult for programs to use Social Media to communicate with or even learn about the communities they serve when the sites themselves are very often blocked.
Sorry to bring this up, but I think it's an elephant in the room when you talk about social media.
I think all Americans should be concerned about the concept of a unified federal website -- especially if they care about programs which may come under White House (from either party) scrutiny. Aside from the political aspects, adding multiple levels of clearance is a process nightmare. It's already time consuming to post information on many websites -- the more consolidated things get, the more levels of approval ...more »