Content

Content Models: As Simple as Pizza Pie!

Jan 7, 2016 |

Open and structured content models assist in the dissemination of information to various devices and media types. In the age of smartphones, tablets, social media tools, syndication and websites, the need for modular content is growing. How can you make your content adaptive to all of these mediums? Open and structured content models can help you create Read »

Good Content Needs Plain Language

Dec 23, 2015 |

If good content is essential to good user experience, as Tyrus Manuel proposes in his November 23, 2015, DigitalGov post, then plain language is also part of good user experience. Plain language helps the public do what they need to do—find forms, apply for benefits, look up information and more—when they use federal websites and other Read »

The Content Corner: Can You Leverage Cornerstone Content?

Dec 21, 2015 |

If you have a website, then you most likely have cornerstone content—though you may not think of it in that way or even considered it. Just as in architecture, a cornerstone is a basic and essential part of any online presence. Cornerstone content is also important to any new visitors to your agency site, even if you Read »

The Content Corner: Is Pair Writing Right for You?

Dec 14, 2015 |

Fresh from last week’s article about workflows and their importance in the content creation process, I stumbled upon a new twist in content production known as pair writing. Many of you familiar with agile methodologies or software programming in general should know the term pair programming. Pair writing hopes to take some of the same Read »

The Content Corner: Work Smarter with Workflows

Dec 7, 2015 |

I noticed recently that I have spent a decent amount of time discussing or referencing content workflow, but I haven’t spent much time on how to actually create or use workflows. Developing content workflows can be a fairly painless process that can make your regular content creation a much smoother and efficient process. Content workflows Read »

The Content Corner: The Balance Between SEO and the User

Nov 30, 2015 |

I always think of SEO like the dentist—no one really likes it, but you need to do it. Yet, despite my lack of excitement for the topic, this will be at a minimum my second post (here’s the first) about the relationship between creating good content and SEO practices. Today I want to dive a little Read »

The Content Corner: Good UX Needs Good Content

Nov 23, 2015 |

As DigitalGov focuses on user experience this month it is good to remember one harsh truth: You cannot have a good user experience with bad content. It is important to keep a “content first” strategy in place during any website redesign or new site development. It is so easy for the various disciplines involved in Read »

The Content Corner: User Research for Complex Systems

Nov 16, 2015 |

My office is preparing to embark on a complete redesign of a 10-year-old system that averages 20,000 users a month. The success and adoption of the new system design and the product as a whole will be heavily determined by how well our team translates users’ needs. Providing a good user experience will also play Read »

The Content Corner: Structured Content and the Power of Syndication

Nov 9, 2015 |

A recent DigitalGov webinar on syndicated content and the recent achievements of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention helped open my eyes even wider to the possibilities of open and structured content. By offering critical health information via syndication, CDC and other Department of Health and Human Services agencies are helping resource-strapped local agencies share Read »

The Content Corner: The Joys of the Content Template

Nov 2, 2015 |

Many of us depend a great deal on subject matter experts (SMEs) to generate content that will eventually end up on our site. These are men and women that have critical knowledge to share with our audiences, and it is our job to make it match our various editorial and content guidelines. Using a simple Read »

Welcome to BetaFEC: Campaign Finance for Everyone

Oct 30, 2015 |

As the 2016 presidential election heats up, here at 18F we’ve been working with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to make campaign finance data more accessible to the public. Today, we launched betaFEC, the first piece in a complete redesign of the FEC’s online Read »

New Website. New Farmers.

Oct 30, 2015 |

USDA has been looking for ways to improve content delivery to our customers and making their first interaction with USDA and government a positive one. In 2014, USDA launched New Farmers, a website dedicated to helping new and beginning farmers and ranchers find the resources Read »

The Content Corner: Twitter, Apple News and the Importance of Our Websites

Oct 26, 2015 |

First, McDonald’s started serving breakfast all day. Now, Twitter announced it is dropping its 140 character limit for tweets. Black is white, up is down. Or is it really that big a deal? Is Twitter just keeping itself relevant in the battle for your content? LinkedIn and Facebook were first with their strong push for organizations to Read »

The Content Corner: Helping Your Content Contributors

Oct 19, 2015 |

Recently, I shared some suggestions and personal lessons learned for agencies either shopping for a new CMS or preparing to revamp their content strategy and workflow. Let’s take things one step further and focus on arguably the most important parts of your CMS: the content creator or user. Arguments can be made that content is the most Read »

Gov Analytics Breakdown #1 – Browsers: Chrome Takes the Cake

Oct 15, 2015 |

If you were visiting a federal government website two years ago, the best odds were that you’d have been using Internet Explorer as your Internet browser. But today, that’s no longer the case. Within just the last year, Chrome has taken over the top spot as the browser most used to view federal websites, according to Read »