UX

Create user-focused content and designs, and make government information accessible to people with disabilities.

The Data Briefing: Twenty Years of USAJOBS

Oct 12, 2016 |

I recently sat down with Michelle Earley, Program Manager, to discuss the new changes for the 20th anniversary of USAJOBS. 1) What are the three big lessons learned from 20 years of building and managing USAJOBS? I think one of the greatest benefits of being an Agile program is that we are constantly learning. In Read »

Creating Wall-Sized Interaction at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum

Sep 30, 2016 |

As any experienced retailer will tell you, the customer experience begins at the store entrance. Note the friendly Walmart greeter, the approachable minimalism of an Apple Store, and the calculated whimsy of Anthropologie. Store designers understand that a customer’s decision to make a purchase is often made within seconds of entering. The same holds true Read »

Voices of Veterans: Introducing Personas to Better Understand Our Customers

Sep 29, 2016 |

Understanding our Veterans and their unique needs and experiences is at the heart of creating a more Veteran-centered VA. By listening to their voices and the stories they share, we can design services and experiences that meet the needs of Veterans. Taking a step towards a deeper understanding of our Veterans, in the fall of Read »

The New Vote.gov: Leaner, Faster and Multi-Lingual

Sep 28, 2016 |

One year ago this week, we launched vote.gov (also known as vote.usa.gov). It’s a concise and simple site with a single mission: direct citizens through the voter registration process as quickly as possible. It was created by a joint team of USA.gov staffers and Presidential Innovation Fellows, all of whom work within the General Services Read »

Webinar Recap: Snaps and Stripes—Sharing Public Service Stories with Snapchat

Sep 27, 2016 |

What does Snapchat, the disappearing message-and-video platform most used by teenagers, have to do with government outreach and communications programs? Well, Snapchat has quickly become an incredibly effective digital storytelling medium, and content creators across multiple government agencies have adopted it as an important part of their programs. A recent New York Times article described Read »

Progressive Web Applications, Part 1: the New Pack Mule of the Internet

Sep 20, 2016 |

A mule is the hybrid offspring of a male donkey and a horse. This new species is stronger and better equipped than the species from which it comes. Overall, mules tend to be healthier, more sound, and live longer than horses. They are favored over horses in mountainous terrain because the mule has a reputation for being more surefooted than their equine cousins. Read »

How Do You Redesign a ‘Dinosaur’? Redesigning an Intranet Site: the Beginning Stages

Sep 19, 2016 |

Many content managers in the digital world understand the irrepressible desire to improve, fix, edit, add, and move things around. Indeed, it’s our job to nurture this ongoing process to create, update, test, update again. And, repeat! But, what about those sites or pages that seem to never crawl up to the ‘high-priority’ list and Read »

Social Security Joins The Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration

Sep 16, 2016 |

Social Security joins you and your family in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15. We know the contributions of Hispanics can be traced to before the origins of the United States with the discovery, exploration, and naming of many places in our nation, such as state names like California, Read »

No Longer an Idea of the Future, Artificial Intelligence Is Here and You Are Probably Already Using It

Sep 15, 2016 |

It might surprise some of you to know that artificial intelligence (AI) is already in use and a routine part of our daily lives, but we leverage this technology when we use our smartphones or other devices to ask Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Google Now, or Amazon’s Alexa a question to get the facts or data we Read »

Sharing The Story of Innovation

Sep 8, 2016 |

Our goal for a more veteran-centered and innovative VA is shared. Our approach to innovation is collaborative. Our approach to innovation is driven by listening, understanding and responding to the experiences and stories of the Veterans we serve. We were huddled on squeaky chairs in the social room of a transitional housing facility in Los Read »

Emma: Friendly Presence and Innovative USCIS Resource Available 24/7

Sep 1, 2016 | ,

We are working hard to serve you and continue to make improvements to Emma, our Spanish-speaking Interactive Virtual Assistant. Help us improve Emma’s knowledge by continuing to ask your immigration-related questions on USCIS.gov/es from any device. This blog will help you understand a little bit more about how Emma works and how you can help Read »

Creative Usability Test Methods—or My Brief Career as a Robot Voice

Aug 31, 2016 |

When you want to do a usability test, sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone and get creative to get the job done. That’s just what happened to us. We’re well practiced at usability testing at USAGov—in person, remote, hallway tests, first-click tests—all of these things we manage without blinking an eye. Read »

Smithsonian Learning Lab: Designing for the Classroom

Aug 29, 2016 |

The Smithsonian’s mission statement is wonderfully simple: “The increase and diffusion of knowledge.” The “increasing” is arguably the straightforward part – the Smithsonian has amassed a collection of over 138 million objects and specimens, and the Institution’s curators and scientists obsessively add to the world’s knowledge base, publishing papers, creating exhibitions, and sharing their expertise. Read »

Celebrating the 18th Anniversary of the Section 508 Rehabilitation Act

Aug 15, 2016 |

August 8, 2016, marks the 18th anniversary of the amendment to the Section 508 Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which covers access to information technology in the federal sector. To recognize the importance of IT accessibility, we wanted to highlight some agency initiatives to improve accessibility across the federal landscape. As amended, the Act requires: …access Read »

Build Empathy With Stakeholder Interviews, Part 2: Conversation

Jul 29, 2016 |

A few weeks ago, the State Department held its first conference dedicated to user experience design, UX Exponential. The conference organizers invited me to speak, and in this two-part series I hope to summarize (as best as possible) the presentation I gave, “Foster The People: Building Empathy with Stakeholder Interviews.” In the first post of Read »

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