Photo:Karen Trebon

Karen Trebon

News and Events

24 posts

Bringing Agile Inside

We hear a lot about agile software development being used in work with customers and end users. User stories are developed, coders and programmers turn them into prototypes, then testing is done to make sure the features work and do what is expected. But, agile is more than a way to develop software; it’s a
Feb 25, 2016

Government Product Managers Play a Key Role in UX

Government product managers sit at the intersection of three circles—business, design and technology. We play a key role in user experience (UX), because we are tasked with understanding users to build a product that is desirable and viable. This product could be a paper or online form, a website or a mobile app. Product management
Nov 27, 2015

Texting is Another Way to Make Mobile Moments

There are several things federal agencies need to think about in the mobile space. Is my website responsive, so that consumers can view it on any device (desktop/laptop, tablet, smartphone)? Do I have mobile apps that fill citizen needs? But does texting have a place in the U.S. government, as we strive to serve citizens
Oct 26, 2015

National Customer Service Week Is Over, but Our Work Is Not!

Get your customer personas right, and you will improve the customer experience (CX) for the rest of your audience. That’s advice Rick Parrish from Forrester Research gave in response to an audience question during the September 29 DigitalGov University webinar on the state of CX in the federal government. Your key customers are those that are most important to the organization, and often most
Oct 20, 2015

What’s in a Name? “Communities” in the Public and Private Sectors

Many of you are part of a government community. We lead a few of them here, and new ones are forming all the time. In fact, as I was writing this article, I stumbled upon a community for government Drupal users. A co-worker recently asked me for research on communities because she is trying to
Jul 15, 2015

Customer Experience and User Experience Professionals – A Match Made in Heaven!

Recently, Forrester Research analyst Leah Buley wrote a blog post and report that reminded me of our “what’s the diff?” article on customer experience vs. user experience. In them, she describes the difference between customer experience professionals (CX) and user experience professionals (UX). A Forrester survey found that about 40% of the time, CX and UX are
May 08, 2015

Digital Analytics Program Among Finalists for Igniting Innovation Award

The federal government has IT challenges, and innovative federal projects are tackling those challenges head-on. As projects gain momentum, outside organizations have taken notice. Recently, Data.gov and DigitalGov’s Digital Analytics Program (DAP) were recognized by the American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC), among 30 other finalists for the Igniting Innovation Award. ACT-IAC’s
Feb 24, 2015

Advice from USAID on Prize Competition Communication Strategies

A well-developed communications plan is critical to the success of a challenge competition, but too often it is one item managers leave to consider at the end of prize design. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Jarah Meador shared the Desal Prize plan and results in the September 16 webinar, “Why Your Gov
Sep 29, 2014

The Trend is Diversity, in Challenge and Prize Competitions

The U.S. government has launched more than 45 challenge and prize competitions so far in Fiscal Year 2014. What trends are we seeing? Well, the trend is…diversity. That might sound like an oxymoron, but federal agencies are really putting themselves out there, asking the crowd to help tackle a wide array of problems. Until August 3rd,
Jul 15, 2014

Challenge and Prize Practitioners Gather at GSA

Got innovation? Well, we do! On Wednesday May 28, the Challenge.gov team gathered the Challenges and Prizes Community of Practice together for its quarterly meeting. The group covered two topics: Highlights from challenge competitions run in 2013.
Jun 13, 2014

Get Started with Challenge and Prize Competitions

Interested in running a challenge and prize competition, but don’t know where to start? Well, here are all the resources GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies has to offer: 1) Challenge.gov. Put your agency’s challenges on this government-wide listing and learn about more than 300 public
Mar 31, 2014

Challenge and Competition Service Providers

I’m sure many of you have heard the expression “there’s an app for that.” Well, now you can say “there’s a schedule for that” as you plan challenge and prize competitions with your colleagues. In 2010, GSA was asked to build Challenge.gov and set up a schedule (a list
Mar 28, 2014

Six Tips for Measuring Success in Challenge Competitions

You’ve run a challenge and prize competition, selected your winners, and distributed the prizes. If you think you’re done, guess again. There’s much more to challenge and prize competition success than getting a solution that solves your problem or meets the criteria. You need to measure success right
Mar 20, 2014

Lights, Camera, Action! 7 Tips to Run a Successful Video Challenge

Not sure how to craft a video challenge that will result in the creative solutions your agency is looking for? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Jason Crusan from NASA and Tammi Marcoullier from Challenge.gov joined a recent DigitalGov University webinar to share best practices and hurdles in running video competitions. We’ve recapped their advice and key
Feb 20, 2014

Challenge Contest Requirements

As you’re planning your challenge, you’ll want to review the relevant policies, memos and legislation pertaining to challenge competitions. The most important is the Prize Authority in the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act (PDF, 275 KB, 12 pages, August 2011) for it gives all executive branch agencies a baseline authority to run prize competitions. Be sure
Dec 13, 2013

Ideation Challenges

Tips for Conducting an Ideation Challenge Examples of Ideation Challenges Criteria for Choosing an Ideation Platform Online Platforms and Tools Challenge and prize competitions are one tool that federal agencies use to drive innovation and solve mission-centric problems—whether technical, scientific, or creative. One type of competition is ideation, which allows you to collect ideas from
Nov 14, 2013

Software and Apps Challenges

Challenge and prize competitions are one path that federal agencies take to drive innovation and solve mission-centric problems—whether technical, scientific, or creative. One type of competition is software and apps challenges, where solvers are asked to develop specific software or other code-based technical solutions, such as websites, mobile applications, or algorithms. Here you’ll find tips
Nov 06, 2013

Federal Government Challenges and Contests

What is a Challenge? In a challenge, a “seeker” challenges “solvers” to identify a solution to a particular problem, or rewards contestants for accomplishing a goal. The solutions may be: ideas, designs, logos, videos, finished products, digital games, or mobile applications. There are many challenge success stories in government: Challenges Conducted in 2011 Under America COMPETES Act
Nov 01, 2013

Creative Challenge Contests

Multimedia, Photo, Poster, Design Challenge and prize competitions are one path that federal agencies take to drive innovation and solve mission-centric problems—whether technical, scientific, or creative. Creative competitions include multimedia, photo, poster, and design competitions. Here you’ll find tips on running a creative challenge, resources, examples, and information about online platforms you can use to
Oct 31, 2013

Technology Demonstration and Market Stimulation Challenges

Challenge and prize competitions are one path that federal agencies take to drive innovation and solve mission-centric problems—whether technical, scientific, or creative. One type of competition is technology demonstration and market stimulation prizes, competitions that result in fully developed solutions to address market failures, solve significant problems facing society, or catalyze and demonstrate breakthrough technical
Oct 31, 2013