News and Updates

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

The SaferCar App

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has created a new iOS app that provides real-time vehicle safety information to consumers from NHTSA’s SaferCar.gov site The new SaferCar app gives consumers immediate access to key safety information to
Apr 18, 2013

National Park Service Apps

The National Park Service offers 3 mobile apps to create mobile experiences at 3 specific parks available for both the Android and iOS platforms. NPS National Mall App – As cherry blossom visitors give way to the summer travelers, visitors can download the NPS’s National Mall App providing visitors with a handheld map and customizable tour plans based
Apr 04, 2013

DOSCareers App

The U.S. Department of State has released a mobile app that informs and educates potential foreign service officers about a diplomatic career. The app provides access
Mar 28, 2013

Regulations.gov – Usability Case Study

More and more people use search as their primary means of finding what they are looking for. When users get confused by the search results, or can’t immediately find what they are looking for, they’re going to get frustrated. They may even leave the site for good. The DigitalGov User Experience Program helped test Regulations.gov on October 5, 2012, to
Mar 22, 2013

SaferBus Mobile App – Usability Case Study

When designing a site, remember that your terms and icons are like signposts that show people where your links and pages lead. Make sure that you use words and pictures that are easily understood or people will have trouble using your site. Small changes like underlining links or adding arrows to indicate expandable information can
Mar 21, 2013

American Red Cross Tornado App

The American Red Cross Tornado App gets your family and home ready for a tornado. The app, which is available on the Android and iOS platforms, puts everything you need to know
Mar 21, 2013

Census takes “March Madness” to a New Level

Government agencies are working hard to communicate complex mountains of data clearly and effectively through graphics. The Census Bureau, known for their great work creating visual images, has done just that. They have created a great data visualization game just in time for March Madness! The game, “Population Bracketology” tests your knowledge of
Mar 20, 2013

NCI QuitPal App

NCI QuitPal is a free smartphone app developed by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health to support smokers working to become smoke-free. This interactive app, available on the iOS platform, was developed using proven quit
Mar 14, 2013

API Analytics

Similar to website analytics, API analytics focus on reliably reporting the metrics which are most useful to its stakeholders. There are a many ways of collecting, reporting, and consuming API analytics but all revolve around the industry–accepted norm that some form of analytics are crucial to any API program. The most basic metrics will track
Mar 12, 2013

API Design and Documentation

Design At their core, developers want APIs for very straightforward, pragmatic ends. You should always design your APIs and document them with the goal of making it easier for developers to use them. Doing so results in greater adoption and a healthier, more successful API. The least efficient way to support developers would be to
Mar 12, 2013

How to Make APIs—An Overview

After choosing a set of information or services to offer via API, some of your next steps are to plan and implement the API. You’ll still need to prepare documentation, tools, and other elements that make a complete package for the API, but at the center is the actual Web service itself. In many situations,
Mar 12, 2013

Resources and Tools for APIs

Hosted API Tools Labs.Data.gov is a repository of shared services to prototype and provide developer resources to government agencies. Each tool uses Web services and lightweight, open source code to provide powerful functionality. Agencies are encouraged to improve any project and submit pull requests in order to share the improvements with others. API Standards Template With the open
Mar 12, 2013

How to Get Started with APIs

Audit Research existing APIs Regardless of your agency’s level of progress in API production, your first step is to create a developer hub that links to any of your agency’s existing APIs. This can help identify current efforts and connect you with others in your agency already working on APIs. Follow up with a deeper
Mar 12, 2013

API Basics

Common Technical Choices Protocol API protocol is the set of rules that govern how an API functions. The protocol outlines the structure and definitions of the API. The two common forms are REST and SOAP. REST is the dominant choice for API protocol because it uses the http protocol that powers the Web. REST supports more
Mar 12, 2013

Benefits of APIs

Understanding the benefits of API production allows you to coordinate with system owners and other stakeholders to modernize the agency’s systems and unlock the sizable potential. Here are just some of these opportunities. Efficiency Providing API access allows for content to be created once and automatically published or made available to many channels. Your agency’s
Mar 12, 2013

GSA FAS QR Code

Mobile Gov Experiences are agency stories about creating anytime, anywhere, any device government services and info. This entry is a story shared by GSA. The General Services Administration’s Federal Acquisition Service Customer Accounts and Research (CAR) Office created a QR codes presentation for the 2011 GSA Expo to teach government attendees about the benefits of
Mar 07, 2013

USAID, HHS & DOL Mobile Gov App Challenge Winners

One way federal agencies create Mobile Gov products is through third party development. Some agencies use platforms like Challenge.gov to get the word out to developers and there have been 3 mobile app challenge awards so far this
Mar 07, 2013

USDA’s Amber Waves App

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) has developed a tablet app for their Amber Waves magazine which showcases
Feb 28, 2013

CDC’s Solve the Outbreak App

The Centers for Disease Control has launched a new table app Solve the Outbreak designed to teach users how CDC’s disease detectives save lives everyday. In this interactive, engaging app, you are a disease detective who gets to decide what to do when an outbreak
Feb 21, 2013

Contractor Vehicle Navigator – Usability Case Study

When users interact with a website to find information, it is important that we help them find their way by using plain language, clear terminology and visible help text. On December 7, 2012, the DigitalGov User Experience Program helped test the U.S. General Services Administration’s Contract Vehicle Navigator website. This Navigator site helps contracting officers find
Feb 19, 2013