News and Updates

Innovative work, news, and ideas from people and teams in government

Federal Mobile Code Sharing Catalog Is Here

Federal agencies have a new resource to help them make content and services available anytime, anywhere, and from any device–the federal Mobile Code Catalog sponsored by the Digital Services Innovation Center. This catalog is hosted on GitHub (more on why that matters in a moment).
May 13, 2013

USPS Mobile App Updates

The U.S. Postal Service Mobile app can help you find a post office, calculate shipping prices and track packages. Since we last featured this app, the USPS has added the ability to schedule pickups and order supplies. Last month, USPS Mobile version 3.8 was released. The new version allows users
May 09, 2013

Planning an Apps Challenge

Apps challenges are a great way to spur innovation and help your agency meet its mission. But before you jump in, learn about how apps challenges work, to ensure yours is successful. Design Concept or Functioning App? What kind of product do you want from your apps challenge? A working app; or A concept for
May 08, 2013

Cracking the Mobile Contracting Nut

Mobile is a fast moving technology leaving many agencies feeling behind the contracting eight-ball. Between finding those rockstar mobile developers, figuring out what to ask for in a statement of work (SOW), the time it takes getting a contract to get those expert resources, agencies are challenged in making
May 06, 2013
The National Gallery of Art has released a free mobile application about the treasures in the permanent collection. Your Art app, available for iOS, enriches the experience of on-site visitors and expands the Gallery’s reach by bringing its masterpieces to art lovers across the globe. Some of this app’s
May 02, 2013

Why Government Websites Need SEO

As the SEO Specialist for Brighton College, I have come across many frustrating, un-optimized, information-rich government websites which are difficult to find on the Internet. Although government websites may have an advantage over commercial websites pertaining to search engine optimization (SEO), without an intentional SEO strategy
May 02, 2013

New Healthcare.gov is Open, CMS-Free

Recently HHS CTO Bryan Sivak outlined a new vision for healthcare.gov. The site will relaunch this June with a completely rethought design and architecture. The new healthcare.gov follows a new CMS-free philosophy. It will be a completely static website, generated by Jekyll. This shift will allow HHS to move away from
May 01, 2013

APIs in Government

This page is about what an Application Programming Interface or API is and what it does and how government agencies are using them to operate more efficiently.
Apr 30, 2013

Producing APIs through Data.gov

One way agencies can offer APIs for their data is to use the built–in functionality of Data.gov. The information that is hosted as interactive datasets have an API layer which agencies can make available through documentation in the developer’s section of the agency’s website. The guide below will help you do this. Process Upload a dataset
Apr 30, 2013

ATF.gov – Usability Case Study

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has some really valuable information for the public that a lot of people search for on ATF.gov. It’s important that the information is easily and quickly accessible. Government agencies reach a wide audience with their information, so making sure everyone can understand your content is important. The DigitalGov User
Apr 29, 2013

Usability Testing + Gov APIs = Best

Good APIs can transform intimidating data sets into something that people can use. Good government APIs can create a better connection between government and citizens. The Digital Government Strategy has spurred Federal adoption of APIs, and the Digital Services Innovation Center and DATA.GOV teams are supporting these efforts by releasing a swath of guidance and
Apr 29, 2013

How to Do Usability Testing with Kids

What do kids know about Web design? As we found out, quite a lot. Recently our DigitalGov User Experience Program teamed up with the Kids.gov team to get some big time feedback from some pint-sized testers in a hallway test. We tested with almost 20 kids ages 6 to 14 at our GSA office,
Apr 26, 2013

NASA’s Be A Martian App

Solar System fans, space shuttles are not the only way you can visit a planet! In July 2012, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at NASA developed a mobile app called “NASA Be A Martian”, which allows you to become a Martian citizen on planet Mars. A Martian
Apr 25, 2013