News and Updates

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

QR Codes

QR Codes or Quick Response codes are two-dimensional codes that are scanned with a smartphone, connecting individuals to additional online content or information. They are made up of modules arranged on a contrasting background. How QR Codes
Feb 14, 2013

Mobile Gov for Valentine’s Day!

Need a last minute Valentine’s Day gift idea? We’ve put together some last minute anytime, anywhere government Valentine’s ideas for your special
Feb 14, 2013

You’ll Have Them at Swipe: Making An Awesome Mobile User Experience Webinar

Learn how to create amazing and engaging Mobile Gov User Experiences by watching this webinar. Anytime, anywhere government will be used in numerous contexts and requires developers to think about more than just content, security and privacy during implementation. In fact, Smashing magazine
Feb 11, 2013

Pointe du Hoc Battle Site Mobile App

The Pointe du Hoc mobile app serves as a tour guide and learning tool for this World War II D-Day landing site in France. The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) developed both Android
Jan 24, 2013

Commerce Departmental Library – Usability Case Study

A website with too much information on the homepage, or any page, will overwhelm users in less than a second. They will be unable to find a starting point to accomplish what they came there to do. If users are not able to locate the information they need and/or are unable to get past the
Jan 23, 2013

Mobile Gov Resources for 2013!

With mobile use growing exponentially and federal agencies implementing customer-facing mobile services for the Digital Government Strategy, we decided to put together a Mobile Gov resource “cheat sheet” with concepts and information we think will be helpful for agencies implementing Mobile Gov in 2013. Here’s what Mobile Gov implementers need to
Dec 21, 2012

Analytics, APIs and Open Content Resources

Agencies have been working away at building better digital services and here, at the Digital Services Innovation Center, we’ve been building resources to help. We have been focusing on three areas, 1. The Digital Analytics Program. We announced this program in early October to help agencies better measure performance and customer satisfaction
Dec 18, 2012

NORAD Tracks Santa App

Mobile Gov Experiences are agency stories about creating anytime, anywhere, any device government services and info. This entry is a story shared by NORAD. The NORAD Tracks Santa apps provide a countdown to Santa’s Christmas Eve flight, interactive games and live tracking of Santa’s progress on December 24th. Why
Dec 18, 2012

SAM.gov – Usability Case Study

One of the most vital parts of any website is its starting point. When a visitor arrives on the main page of your site, they should be able to quickly tell what the main tasks are and how to perform them. Visual cues and plain language are the best ways to accomplish this. The SAM.gov
Dec 17, 2012

IRS – Usability Case Study

Acronyms and jargon are fine when you want to communicate quickly to an internal audiences or to like-minded readers. Once the scope of your audience widens, however, these elements can make your pages harder to understand. The IRS recognized that its pages about tax planning for retirement were reaching an audience beyond tax professionals, and
Dec 14, 2012

Weather.gov – Usability Case Study

After conducting a usability test and listening to customer feedback, the Weather.gov team and the DigitalGov User Experience Program identified these three issues as both important and quickly solvable. Problem 1: Terminology and Labels Confusing The terminology and labels used were either too technical or too abstract for users to understand—a far cry from the plain
Dec 06, 2012

Using Gamification in Federal Projects

Gamification is the practice of using game technology or design principles for something that is not inherently game-like. Some examples include: bronze, silver, and gold badges for reading a set number of books, progress bars in online surveys, leader boards for top grades on an exam, or rewards for attending in-person events. As gamification projects are
Nov 30, 2012

#SocialGov Summit Highlights Accessibility Challenges

The recent #SocialGov Summit on accessibility of government social media raised emerging issues faced by agencies in their effort to make sure the information citizens need is communicated to them when and how they need it. For many, the most eye opening exercise was simply to hear their tweets read back to them through an iPhone VoiceOver screen reader,
Nov 30, 2012

How the Department of Education Automated Publication of Press Releases

A case study on how the Department of Education used the Drupal content management system (CMS) to publish press releases as structured content to automatically generate listing pages and reduce errors and posting time. The Challenge The Department of Education was posting press releases using a system that posted them as static HTML files. The
Nov 21, 2012

How NASA Chose a New Content Management System

A case study on how NASA is choosing a new enterprise content management system (CMS). The Challenge NASA.gov needs a new enterprise CMS. They’re facing issues such as software obsolescence, inconsistent website governance, and a large amount of unstructured content stored in flat HTML files. Their current system is almost a decade old, and the
Nov 21, 2012

Smart Traveler App

Mobile Gov Experiences are agency stories about creating anytime, anywhere, any device government services and info. This entry is a story shared by Department of State. Secretary Clinton often talks about using “21st Century Statecraft” at the State Department. For us in the website office, this equates to using new tools
Nov 20, 2012

Case Study: How DOL Created Software Development Kits (SDKs)

What It Is The U.S. Department of Labor sought to go beyond merely making data available to developers and take ease of use of the data to the next level by giving developers tools that would make using DOL’s data easier. The target audience was not just experienced developers, but even those who may be
Nov 19, 2012

Case Study: How GSA Launched Social Media Registry

In September, the General Services Administration (GSA) launched a registry of all federally-managed social media accounts. We want to explain a little of the history behind the registry and talk about a few things that make it a truly remarkable innovation from GSA. Before I start, I want to emphasize when I say “we” from
Nov 19, 2012

comScore Report, October 2012

In October 2012, comScore, a Web analytics research company, released an independently produced report that analyzes 75 federal agency websites on a range of quantitative and qualitative factors. The report was provided to GSA as part of GSA’s contract with comScore to collect analytics on federal websites. This report focuses on consumer impressions of public websites. comScore
Nov 14, 2012

Government as an Information Franchise

The Digital Government Strategy represents best practices in today’s web services landscape. The DGS outlines a path to making government web services faster, more cost-efficient and higher-performing. It also frames out the digital government that everybody wants by making government information more flexible, actionable and easier to use. America Has Been There and Done That. Really?! Many consider
Nov 13, 2012