Rachel Mundstock

Rachel is the Information Specialist for GSA’s DigitalGov Search. She helps power the search experience on over 1,500 government websites. Feel free to email her at search@support.digitalgov.gov with any questions or check out DigitalGov Search for more information.

Placeholder Text: Think Outside the Box

The verdict is in. Placeholder text is harmful in search boxes. Searchers are on your site to complete a task. Having placeholder text inside a search box distracts from the task and it reduces the usability and accessibility of the search box. Placeholders look simple, but are in fact very tricky to use. When people are trying to accomplish a goal, their focus is not on the form an organization requires them to use.

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Recap of Social Digital Search Webinar

Content is no longer limited to .gov sites. As mentioned in a recent blog post, Sharing is Caring, Adding Social Media Accounts to Search, DigitalGov Search uses Flickr, Instagram, and YouTube to populate image and video search results. On September 30, 2014, I presented with Justin Herman from the Social Media Community of Practice about: What DigitalGov Search is How it integrates social image and video search How search analytics can help social media managers better understand their customers’ needs If you weren’t able to join us, you can download the slides or view the 30 minute webinar on YouTube.

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The Federal Register: Improving Visitors’ Search Experience on Agency Websites

The Office of the Federal Register’s mission “informs citizens of their rights and obligations, documents the actions of Federal agencies, and provides a forum for public participation in the democratic process.” As the winner of the Bright Idea Award, FederalRegister.gov is clear and easy to use, but most citizens rarely frequent it. More frequently they start searching for information on Google or on agency websites, where it is more difficult to discover pertinent rules and regulations.

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Sharing is Caring, Adding Social Media Accounts to Search

Content is no longer limited to your .gov website. Social media accounts also contain a treasure trove of information relevant to your site’s visitors. Keeping that in mind, DigitalGov Search has worked to bring all your content, wherever it is, to your search results. Finding something you didn’t know you were looking for is the best form of discovery, so make sure there are ample opportunities to find your content in all its forms.

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