User Testing & Research

Case Study: OCSIT’s Email Customer Survey Process

Jan 29, 2016 |

At GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies (OCSIT), we offer technology services and tools to make government work better. To help us gauge the effectiveness of the programs we offer to other government agencies, in 2013 we launched our first Government Customer Experience Index (GCXi) survey. This annual email survey consistently measures customer 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 »

Government Product Managers Play a Key Role in UX

Nov 27, 2015 |

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 Read »

Mobile Content: Less is More

Aug 31, 2015 |

With 14 test cycles under our belt, the Federal CrowdSource Mobile Testing Program has heard one recurring theme from our testers—”there’s too much information!” While both desktop monitor and smartphone screen sizes are growing, there is still no comparison. At our desks, many of us are using a 24 inch (or even bigger) monitor. How big is your Read »

NOAA’s CrowdMag App: Citizen Science on the Go

Jun 18, 2015 |

The rise in mobile device usage has created a rise in expectations: the public wants new and innovative interactions with all organizations, including government. Incorporating social media in mobile websites and native apps is one way federal agencies have increased public interaction. Six agencies have leveraged native app functionality for crowdsourcing purposes. The National Oceanic Read »

The Emulator Dilemma: Can Mobile Device Testing Be Completed Without Mobile Devices?

Jun 9, 2015 | ,

Government agencies have created a variety of apps to meet the needs of the public. As you join in on the mobile first trend and begin developing your shiny new mobile application, you will need to test it. There are a basic set of questions that must be answered: Does it function properly? Does it function properly Read »

Creating a Veterans-Centered Experience Through ExploreVA

May 1, 2015 |

Good customer service includes user-centered design. For one digital team at the Department of Veterans Affairs, creating a veterans-centered experience started with one word: explore. The ExploreVA website provides a single location for veterans and their families to research the benefits that they may be entitled to receive. Benefits include health care, education, employment, and Read »

Focus Groups: Are They Right for You?

Apr 17, 2015 |

The short answer is: it depends on your goals. If you Google “focus group,” you will have a host of positive and negative feedback, but the truth is that it depends on what your needs are. What Is a Focus Group? Focus groups are an inexpensive way Read »

Using Personas to Better Understand Customers: USA.gov Case Study

Apr 6, 2015 |

Personas are fictional characters that describe an organization’s customer behaviors, emotions, attributes, motivations, and goals. They are an important tool to share customer insights and understanding across an organization. Personas also serve as a check to make sure your organization’s actions meet the needs of the majority of customers, including visitors to your website, contact Read »

CareerOneStop’s Newest Online Resources: Targeted to User Needs

Apr 2, 2015 | ,

When the Employment and Training Administration’s CareerOneStop team embarked on a redesign of the site’s online career, training, and job resources, they didn’t dive right into the technical work. Instead, they embraced a user-centered approach that focused on the user experience (UX). Focusing on UX means taking a step back Read »

Usability Design for Kids: Things Federal Workers Should Know

Mar 24, 2015 |

I used to teach 8th grade science in inner city Denver in the 1990s. After that, I supported special education students and their teachers in North Carolina. Around that time (mid-late 1990s), the Internet wasn’t really designed for kids –most of the electronic materials I Read »

Getting Started with Usability Testing

Mar 19, 2015 |

At the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), our new open data policy will begin making more Agency-funded data broadly accessible to the public. It completely changes the way we do business, and it also means that in the coming years, the amount of data we Read »

At Last: User Experience Performance Descriptions!

Mar 17, 2015 |

To improve your digital systems with user experience (UX), you need people. And to get people in government, you need position descriptions. While DigitalGov has collected a wide variety of position descriptions, Read »

GoodGovUX Addresses UX of IT Contracts

Mar 13, 2015 |

How do you define user experience (UX)? That was the question posed to more than 100 people at the GoodGovUX event at the Artisphere in Arlington, Virginia, on February 24th. Attendees learned how government can improve the user experience of digital products, from Read »

The Usability ‘Aha!’ Moment: How to Turn Cynics into Converts

Mar 6, 2015 | ,

User Experience (UX) is the comprehensive experience a person has when using a product or application, and usability is the ease of use (or lack thereof) when using it. Many of us have discovered the vast advantages of evaluating usability on our own; however, getting others to jump on board is often a different story. Read »

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