What Happened at Our User Experience Summit (with slides!)

Feb 3, 2014

We were hoping for 30, but we got more than 100 user experience professionals and novices on Jan 28, 2014, for our User Experience (UX) Summit at the General Services Administration. The event was sponsored by the User Experience Community of Practice and the DigitalGov User Experience Program. Here’s what we discussed:

The Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

Three speakers shed some light on the vitally important PRA process: Bridget C.E. Dooling and Margaret Malanosk from the Office of Management and Budget, and Michelle Chronister from General Services Administration. Some highlights:

  • The PRA applies to a wide variety of “information collection” methods when working with the general public, including focus groups, surveys, panels, comment cards, etc.
  • Advice: Look up your agency’s PRA officer. Become friends with this person.
  • The “Fast Track” process can help you get approval sooner
  • Find out if your agency already has a generic clearance for the PRA Fast Track. Get a copy of it.

Innovative Testing Methods

Brian Lappin from the FDA and Silvia Inéz Salazar from the National Cancer Institute detailed programs they manage to efficiently generate as much user experience impact as they could. Some key points:

  • Consider testing multiple sites on the same day, but require stakeholders to attend
  • Crowdsourced reviews for red flags is an easy way to get feedback from dozens (or hundreds!) of people

Mobile User Experience

Jacob Parcell from GSA spoke about some powerful tools to rely on when creating your mobile or responsive product. A few tips:

  • Check out the Mobile App Development Program before you start building
  • Mobile UX is even more complex than desktop
  • Turn content into data that can be structured (e.g., XML, RSS, APIs)
  • Don’t wait for the perfect Information Architecture; put it out there and revise based on user feedback