News and Updates

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

Trends on Tuesday: A Record 230 Million Smartphones Shipped Q2 2013

According to research done by Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments grew 47 percent from 156.5 million units in the second quarter of 2012 to 229.6 million units in the second quarter of 2013. Additionally, the research finds that this growth is being driven by demand for Android phones
Aug 06, 2013

Mobile Product Security and Privacy Testing Resources

Security testing is used to ensure that a mobile product does not pose a threat to agency IT systems and databases. In addition, privacy testing ensures that an app does not put the user’s personally identifiable information into a compromisable position. This article was developed as part of the Mobile Application Development Program. See our
Aug 05, 2013

Mobile Product Performance Testing

Performance testing is used to verify that an app or web page will display quickly to the user and will continue to function as the number of users increases to peak loads. Performance is an important consideration for mobile applications because the connection speed of users is often slower and more variable for mobile users than desktop users. Surveys
Aug 05, 2013

Thunderclap Now Available for Government-Wide Adoption

Thunderclap is the latest social media and crowd-sourcing platform available to federal agencies to better engage with the public, with a newly negotiated government-compatible Terms of Service (TOS) agreement. GSA collaborated with Thunderclap to negotiate the amended terms, which brings the total number of tools with federal-compatible agreements to 66.
Aug 05, 2013

HUD Office of Inspector General Responsive Design Website

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has developed a responsive design website for the HUD Office of Inspector General. The website provides: news, the latest reports and publications, locations to
Aug 01, 2013

The Impact of Culture on Customer Experience

What’s one of the most important factors in delivering a good customer experience? When I first began learning about customer experience, one of the biggest surprises was the importance of culture. Organizational culture can be defined as the values and behavior that contribute to the unique and psychological environment of an organization.It’s based on shared
Aug 01, 2013

Mobile Product Accessibility Testing Resources

Accessibility testing is a subset of usability testing and is the inclusive practice of making websites and mobile applications usable by people of all abilities and disabilities. You do this by testing mobile websites and/or applications on all leading browsers, mobile devices and screen readers. This article was developed as part of the Mobile Application
Jul 31, 2013

Trends on Tuesday: Identify Your Mobile Personas

Sparksheet recently posted an article by Greg Hickman, where he explains how to create mobile personas for your consumers when developing a mobile strategy. When it comes to mobile
Jul 30, 2013

Improving the User Experience with the Reboot

Plan and analyze. Write and design. Test and refine. As Web Manager for, I have found that taking a user-centered approach is vital each time you improve or build a digital product, especially when the content is about improving user
Jul 30, 2013

How to Create Open, Structured Content

Structured content refers to the concept of organizing and treating digital content like data. It’s a way of publishing content as modular, discrete pieces of information that are tagged with machine-readable descriptions. Structured content has the potential to transform how people find, understand, share, and use government information. Why Structured Content Matters Most digital content
Jul 29, 2013

API Security

Like website development, API security revolves around three stages—planning the API, testing the API, and monitoring the API after it has launched. The planning stage requires those involved to conceptually map several design decisions and the impact that they will have on security. The second stage applies your agency’s security program to the API release
Jul 29, 2013

Why NCI Moved to a Structured Content Model

Wikipedia says that structured content refers to information that’s been broken down and classified using metadata. It can also refer to information that’s been classified using XML or other standard or proprietary forms of metadata. The National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute (NIH/NCI) move to structured
Jul 25, 2013

Understanding Your Customer

Do you know who your customers are? And what they expect from your organization? One of the most critical components of a successful customer experience program is to understand your customer. The first step is knowing who your customers are. Are they veterans, students, senior citizens or other federal workers? In some cases your customers
Jul 25, 2013

NOAA’s Whale Alert – Ship Strike Reduction for Right Whales App

Mariners now have an anytime, anywhere resource to aid in the
Jul 25, 2013

Trends on Tuesday: Uprise of SMS Marketing

MobileMarketingWatch recently published an article on how the SMS marketing world is changing. Due to its popularity, SMS has evolved into one of the most effective mobile marketing strategies. Improves Relevance for All: Marketers tailor campaigns to a variety of interests in order
Jul 23, 2013

Moderating a Government Blog

Guest post by Curtis Robert Burns, better known as Blogger Bob, at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). As a blogger for TSA I believe moderating blog comments always comes down to an understanding of your employer’s mission, audience, and your
Jul 22, 2013

DATA.Gov: The Next Step is Yours

Americans are rocking open data! From getting people to the emergency room faster with iTriage to helping them navigate road and rail after a disaster, people are innovating, building businesses, and creating safer communities. As developers get more sophisticated and businesses get better analytics, needs to change to support them in new ways and
Jul 19, 2013

Department of Labor: Download Their Apps, Fork Their Code, Check out the Webinar

The Department of Labor’s DOL Timesheet, OSHA Heat Index Tool and LaborStats apps are available anytime and anywhere for the public. Now their code is available for agencies to leverage for mobile development. All the apps’ code are available on the Mobile Code
Jul 18, 2013

How to Create a Customer Experience Index

In my last post I talked about how we’re kicking off our Customer Experience program in the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies (OCSIT) at GSA. There are many paths to creating a customer experience program, from starting with cultural issues like employee
Jul 18, 2013

Trends on Tuesday: Mobile a “Second Screen” for TV Viewing

A study conducted by Nielson for Q1 2013 reports that almost half of all mobile users use their mobile devices as second screens while watching TV on a daily basis (46% for smartphones, 43% for tablets).
Jul 16, 2013