Will Sullivan

Slack AMA Connect Standards Team with Public

The Standards team hosted their first AMA (Ask Me Anything) with the public in August. Here’s a breakdown of the big topics discussed during the chat.

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Trends on Tuesday: Americans’ ‘Digital Divide’ on Tech Savviness and Digital Learning

The Pew Internet and the American Life Project released a report recently that analyzed the use of digital tools for different groups of tech literacies and found some interesting ‘digital divides’ and levels of trust, usage, and skill. The report broke out 5 personas of the American people: Digitally Ready (17 percent of U.S. Adults)

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Trends on Tuesdays: Mobile Phone Camera Upgrades Offer Interesting Opportunities for Government Agencies

Professional photographer and early “iPhonography” pioneer, Chase Jarvis coined the phrase, “The best camera is the one that’s with you.” The recent jumps in mobile phone photo technology presents interesting opportunities for government agencies to consider as mobile phone cameras are starting to rival and surpass professional gear. When Google and Apple both announced their

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Trends on Tuesday: The Digital Interface — Without a Face — Is Coming Fast

The seemingly sci-fi world envisioned in the movie Her is very close to becoming our reality. Several new developments merging hardware, artificial intelligence technology, chatbots and persistent audio assistants are now available, with software developer kits to expand the platforms. Amazon was first to market with their Echo device, and since have added the Echo

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Trends on Tuesday: Pokemon Go-es Away Slowly

The wildly popular, augmented reality game we reported on for Trends on Tuesday a few weeks ago and the focus of a piece about government agencies using it to engage citizens appears to have hit a ceiling and is slowly losing active fans in August according to a recent report in Bloomberg. While the mobile game may

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Trends on Tuesday: Signs of the App-ocalypse

A new report from the Mobile Ecosystem Forum shows that most users delete apps because of security concerns. The report also said that 47% of survey respondents would pay extra for an app that didn’t share personal information and that the inability to find a privacy policy is one of the leading reasons for consumers losing trust

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Live Streamed Demos for Exponential Transparency and Information Sharing

This spring, the eRegulations Notice & Comment team began building out a new feature set for the platform — adding the ability for agencies with proposed regulations to show the public more precisely the changes being proposed and allow agencies to receive more granular, contextual, and better-organized comments.

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Trends on Tuesday: Latino Users Lead Mobile Use in U.S.

The Pew Research Center released a report in July that shows people of Latino descent are heavily reliant on mobile phones for their Internet access, more than other ethnicities. The report said that since 2012, the percentage of Hispanic adults who used mobile devices to access the Internet jumped from 76% to 94% in 2015. These percentages

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Trends on Tuesday: Adoption for Pokémon Go Mobile App Goes Crazy

Augmented Reality games have existed for years, but have mostly failed to catch a mainstream audience; Pokémon Go just changed all that this weekend. The game that launched early this month has exploded in popularity and is close to surpassing Twitter in daily active

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Trends on Tuesday: IoT Connected Devices Expected to Surpass Mobile Phones by 2018

International telecommunications network operator, Ericsson, released their Mobility Report around the future of mobile recently with a bunch of interesting data around the future of telecommunications and mobile. The surprise star of the report is not mobile phones though—although it will continue to grow, especially in emerging markets where it hasn’t reached saturation like it

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Trends on Tuesday: Key Trends for Government from Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends

Internet strategist Mary Meeker delivered her 2016 Internet Trends report this month, and there are several key takeaways for government agencies to consider and continue tracking as our connected world continues to evolve: Mobile phone adoption and Internet growth is meeting saturation. Incremental global growth will continue (especially in India, which she called out for

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Trends on Tuesday: The Next Revolution Is Here—Cars Are the New Mobile Devices

Last week, Recode published an article focused on a recent report from industry consultant Chetan Sharma that found the largest number of new mobile activations in the first quarter of 2016 came from a ‘different’ kind of mobile tool—cars. There are still a lot of phone and tablet mobile activations happening—31% and 23% of all activations, respectively—but

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Trends on Tuesday: What Kind of Apps Will Users Return To?

Flurry Analytics, a mobile application analytics company owned by Yahoo!, released a new report about app retention. Unless your app usage is around “gambling”—with cards (game apps), with your money (finance apps), with whether or not to bring an umbrella (weather apps), or with your health (fitness apps)—user retention and re-engagement is often a steep wall

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Trends on Tuesday: Smartphone Ownership Reaching Saturation, Fueling Media Consumption

ComScore released a report with a lot of great data about how mobile digital media usage continues to explode in 2016. It has 70 pages of charts and information to digest. Here are seven key mobile trends and takeaways: Smartphones are exponentially driving digital media usage. Digital media has tripled since 2013 and digital media

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Trends on Tuesday: Google Will Rank ‘Mobile-Friendly’ Sites Even Higher Beginning in May

Last year Google began changing their search ranking algorithm to direct mobile users to mobile-friendly sites, and they recently announced that beginning in May they will be implementing an update to focus even more exclusively on boosting mobile-friendly sites.

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Trends on Tuesday: As Mobile and Desktop Email Open Rates Converge, Responsive Sites Are Crucial

A new report about email usage reinforced the importance of always building responsive websites. Yesmail’s quarterly report showed that mobile and desktop email click-to-open rates are converging to almost the same level for the first time ever. As people become more mobile-first and mobile-only users of the Internet, users opening emails on their desktop devices

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Trends on Tuesday: Facebook and Google Products Dominate App Usage

Comscore released new data this month about trends in the smartphone space. The data showed that the Android platform grew in market percentage (when combining all Android manufacturers). Android overall grew 1% from September to December at the cost of Apple and Blackberry, which dropped 0.7% and 0.3%, respectively, in smartphone market share. Comscore’s data on the most

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Trends on Tuesday: Robot Messaging Goes Mainstream

John Connor can’t save you. Robots are here to take over the world. Two interesting new consumer mobile and digital content experiences were launched in the past week, signaling some of the first mainstream brands embracing this new paradigm of interactive, bot-driven content experiences: Quartz’s News App and The New York Times Election Slack Bot. Both

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Trends on Tuesday: Retaining Your Mobile Audience Is Critical (and Difficult!) From Day 1

Google Product Director and author, Luke Wroblewski, wrote a piece about how perfecting your Day 1 experience for users is critical because retention after that point is incredibly difficult. Wroblewski said that 25% of native mobile apps are abandoned after their first use and that the number of active users drops 77% in the first three days after

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Trends on Tuesday: Will Phablets Dominate the Mobile Market in 2017?

Phablets, once mocked for their large size, may be the next big form factor dominating mobile devices, if new data from the holiday season is any indication. Flurry Mobile, part of Yahoo’s mobile analytics division, published two reports about phablet devices at the beginning of the new year, showing their continued growth and that people use

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Trends on Tuesday: 10 Mobile, Government and Tech Trends for 2016

As we move into 2016, here are 10 trends I foresee flourishing around mobile, technology and government: The mobile-majority tipping point in government. Many agencies are already past this point, but as a whole, government websites are still desktop-majority, with 66% of people accessing federal websites via desktop and 34% on mobile. In 2016, the double-digit mobile

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Trends on Tuesday: Mobile-Only U.S. Audiences Grow While Broadband Usage Drops

The Pew Research Center released an interesting report about home Internet usage that revealed broadband usage plateaued in 2013 and, in fact, dropped 3% in 2015. Later in the report, Pew states the growth in mobile-only audiences compensated for the drop in home broadband usage, so the overall number of people with Internet access hasn’t changed

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Trends on Tuesday: Holiday Shopping Sales Show a Move Towards Mobile-First

U.S. shoppers are increasingly using their mobile devices to make purchases during the busiest shopping days: Black Friday and Thanksgiving weekend. According to Custora, online Black Friday sales rose more than 16% compared to last year, and smartphone use rose to more than 36% (up from 30% last year), with iPhones accounting for the lion’s share of

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Trends on Tuesday: Adobe Moves Beyond Flash

Half a decade since Steve Jobs declared war on Adobe Flash and refused to support it on Apple’s mobile and tablet devices, Flash is finally losing its crown as one of the stand-alone products of Adobe. In the announcement, Adobe said, “Flash has played a leading role in bringing new capabilities to the Web. From

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Trends on Tuesday: What Mobile Devices Do People Use to Access Federal Sites?

Mobile users of government websites are growing in double digit percentages and will likely soon become the majority. For some recent internal project research, I dove into some of the federal government-wide analytics looking at mobile usage and found a few interesting tidbits to share: It’s an OS battle of the As. Apple devices slightly

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Trends on Tuesday: Smartphone and Tablet Adoption Grows While Other Digital Devices Slump

Pew released a recent report tracking trends in digital device ownership and found smartphones and tablets have continued to grow in recent years, while other devices have stalled. The big headlines from the report are: Cell phones are now in the hands of more than 92% of U.S. adults, although this trend started to flatten

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Trends on Tuesday: 5 Tips for Designing Touch Interactions

Josh Clark, one of the pioneers of touch Web design, and author of Tapworthy and Designing for Touch, published an excellent article on A List Apart analyzing How We Hold Our Gadgets that has a wealth of data and graphics about this interesting and emerging design challenge. Below are 5 notable lessons from the post: 1. Portrait (vertical) orientation dominates

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Trends on Tuesday: Forecasting the Internet of Things

An industry group tracking the growth and production of the “Internet of Things,” a term given to Internet-connected devices and accessories, is predicting that growth will slow over the next 6 months, but then surge 3 times as fast, over the following year. The research was organized by the IoT M2M Council, which is made

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Trends on Tuesday: Users Spend Most of Their Time in Social Apps

ComScore released a new 2015 U.S. Mobile App report tracking native mobile app usage among adults over 18 years old, and it reinforced a lot of the trends we’ve been reporting on DigitalGov. Quartz succinctly summarized the report with the headline: “You really only use three apps on your phone.” The report clearly pointed out that Americans spend

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Trends on Tuesday: Focus on Mobile Performance to Provide Better Mobile Moments

The New York Times recently published a report evaluating the cost of mobile ads on news websites and found that on many of the major sites, the ads were taking as much bandwidth and time as the content (if not more, in some cases). This comes after the recent hubub over Apple starting to allow

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Trends on Tuesday: Content is King for Mobile Apps

Yahoo’s mobile analytics service, Flurry, released a new and provocative report about mobile apps versus mobile browser usage, in which they found audiences are spending almost an hour more with their mobile phones than last year. They also discussed the importance of how “content is king” in mobile apps. The top mobile app categories

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Trends on Tuesday: The Mobile Internet is Dead. Long Live the Mobile Internet.

Benedict Evans, a leading mobile analyst with the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, published a provocative post last week about the death of the mobile Internet. He details the history of the mobile Web and posits that the mobile Internet is the Internet now. The desktop version of the Internet audience is smaller

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Trends on Tuesday: Prepare for ‘Mobilegeddon’ II—Interstitial App Ads

Google has announced a second wave of ‘Mobilegeddon’ search penalties for websites using mobile app install interstitials. Beginning November 1st, mobile app Web pages that use large app install interstitials to hide content from the users will be downgraded in search results for not being mobile-friendly. These are the kind of pop-ups you get when you

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Trends on Tuesday: Mobile Messaging and Social App Research Released

On DigitalGov, we frequently talk about some of the most popular app experiences, and research almost always shows that mobile messaging and social apps are the most frequently used. Pew Research released a new report specifically about

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Trends on Tuesday: Web Standards Advocate Advises Adaptive Web Design for Government Sites

This August, Aaron Gustafson, Web Standards Advocate at Microsoft, industry thought leader and speaker, and an author who wrote a leading book on adaptive web design, spoke to the government tech community at the U.S. General Services Administration

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Trends on Tuesday: The Rise in “Mobile Addicts”

Yahoo’s mobile analytics division, Flurry, released an interesting report, in July, comparing mobile usage among three distinct types of users around the world based on how frequently they launch mobile applications each day: Regular Users, Super Users and Mobile Addicts. According to Flurry, of

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Trends on Tuesday: The Impact of ‘Mobilegeddon’ on Non Mobile-Friendly Sites

Adobe released its quarterly Adobe Digital Index report this month, which showed websites that aren’t mobile optimized are seeing more than double-digit drops in traffic from Google’s organic search referrals. This is after the leading search engine announced it would start penalizing websites, after April 21st, that weren’t optimized for mobile—also called “Mobilegeddon.” Microsoft’s Bing search engine also

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Trends on Tuesday: Mobile Web Audiences Abandon Sites with Interstitial Ads

David Morell, a software engineer with Google, posted an interesting case study from the tech giant, sharing data about how users interacted with interstitials (ie webpages displayed before or after an expected content page) on their website. Their analysis showed that 69% of users completely abandoned the page and their original intent after being shown an interstitial. Interstitials take many

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Trends on Tuesday: People Over 55 Soon to Be Mobile-Majority Users

In July, comScore released a research paper, The Global Mobile Report: How Multi-Platform Audiences & Engagement Compare in the U.S., Canada, UK and Beyond, covering a lot of areas from smartphone penetration to Android vs. Apple preferences.

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Trends on Tuesday: GOV.UK Weighs in on Mobile User Habits

England’s Government Digital Service (similar to our own U.S. Digital Services and 18F) did a study of how content on their websites is consumed on mobile and non-mobile devices and learned several key points for a future-focused and

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Trends on Tuesday: Adults Use Mobile Devices Most of the Time

Millennial Media released a new research report, Connected Consumers: Gaining Insights Across Screens, examining U.S. digital audiences from January 2014 until January 2015 with some interesting information that reinforces trends we’ve covered before.

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Trends on Tuesday: Native App Push Notifications Drive Repeat Use

Analytics company, Localytics, released a new report about mobile app retention rates from the past 4 years that agencies should heed when considering their needs for building native mobile apps, compared to mobile-friendly

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Trends on Tuesday: 7 Key Takeaways From Mary Meeker’s 2015 Internet Trends Report

Silicon Valley analyst Mary Meeker’s annual 2015 Internet Trends report has been released and is an exhaustive analysis of the world’s digital evolution (often mobile first driven) and how it is affecting business, culture

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Trends on Tuesday: Thinking about Your Agency’s “Glanceable” Moment Strategy

Mobile device penetration is growing, with larger screens providing more real-estate for content and users completing more complex tasks over longer periods of engagement. However, the new wave of digital screens on watches and wearables is requiring organizations to consider how to build smaller, faster and simpler interfaces to prepare for “glanceable moments.” Ted Schadler from Forrester Research provided the following explanation:

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Trends on Tuesday: 186.3 Million People Own Smartphones in the U.S.

In April, comScore released new mobile data, and it pointed to the continuing growth of smartphones as the dominant mobile platform, especially in the United States, with almost a 77% smartphone penetration. Android and Apple continue to dominate the operating system market share with 52.8% and 41.7%, respectively. The report said that “186.3 million people in the U.S.

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Trends on Tuesday: More Google Searches Now Take Place on Mobile Devices than Desktops

The drum beat of the continuing and quick cultural shift to mobile device dominance continues to grow—Google announced that more searches take place on mobile devices than desktops in 10 countries, including the U.S. and Japan. These searches are often driven

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Trends on Tuesday: Consumer Purchases and Usage of Tablets Shrink, as Phablets Grow

Consumers are buying less tablets and more phablets, especially in the U.S. Three recent research reports released in the past week from IDC, Flurry and Kantar each point to a shift in consumer purchasing habits over the past quarter, showing that consumers

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Trends on Tuesday: U.S. Mobile-Only Internet Users Now Outnumber Desktop-Only Users

Just a week after the ‘Mobilegeddon’ shift in Google search engine rankings to favor mobile-friendly sites, comScore released a research report citing that the U.S. had reached a new inflection point—there are now more mobile-only Internet users than desktop-only. What’s even

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Trends on Tuesday: 10 Tips for Mobile Live Streaming

Mobile video is starting to hit its second wave for both consumption and creation, and government agencies can prepare now to ride this new channel for mobile and social engagement. Fueled by mobile bandwidth and cellular stability steadily increasing and consumers’ comfort

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Trends on Tuesday: 40% of Smartphone Users Look up Government Information

The Pew Research Center released a deep research dive into “U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015” that provided three big ideas and data points for government agencies to consider when planning their digital strategies. More than 2/3 of Americans have smartphones; many of those are mobile first or mobile only Internet users.

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Trends on Tuesday: Big Ideas from Mobile World Congress

Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest mobile infrastructure, software, hardware, product and app show, took place in Barcelona, Spain, and I attended for the fifth time. This year’s show shattered previous records with more than 93,000 attendees across

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Trends on Tuesday: More Time-Consuming, Complex Tasks on Mobile Platforms

One of the leading mobile app analytics companies, Flurry, released their annual mobile app growth report with some interesting data showing how audiences are changing the way they engage with mobile applications. Overall, mobile app usage grew 76% in 2014, and the top app categories included: “Lifestyle & Shopping,” growing 174%; “Utilities & Productivity,” growing

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