Connected Government Act

As of July of 2018, all new and redesigned agency websites are required to be mobile friendly.

The Connected Government Act (H.R.2331) was signed into law on January 10, 2018, and requires new and redesigned federal agency public websites to be mobile-friendly. The General Services Administration (GSA) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will submit a report to Congress in 2019 that describes how agencies can implement the law and assess their compliance.

The new law codifies OMB Memorandum M-17-06, Policies for Federal Agency Public Websites and Digital Services (PDF, 1.2 MB, 18 pages, November 2016).

The sections below were curated by the MobileGov Community of Practice to help you make sure that your websites comply with the law.

H.R. 2331 / The Connected Government Act

What Is Mobile-Friendly?

Mobile-friendly means a digital product can be navigated, viewed and accessed on a smartphone, tablet computer, or similar mobile device.

  • Is Your Site Mobile-Friendly?
    Many of us get toward the end of mobile site development and really do not know if what we created is “mobile-friendly.” We think we have followed all of the mobile best practices and performed usability testing. However, do we have something concrete to quantitatively certify that we are mobile-friendly?
    https://www.digitalgov.gov/2015/10/23/is-your-site-mobile-friendly/

Create a Mobile Strategy

Do you know how mobile fits into your agency’s larger digital strategy? If not, these articles will help you.

Agency Examples and Recommendations

Resources to help your agency comply with the Connected Government Act.

  • Mobile User Experience Guidelines and Recommendations
    As more agencies develop mobile apps and websites, they need quick guidance on mobile user experience Do’s and Don’ts. To answer their call, we asked MobileGov Community of Practice members to choose their top Mobile UX Guidelines from the original group of 42. From that feedback, we have distilled the following six mobile user experience guidelines.
    https://digital.gov/resources/mobile-user-experience-guidelines-and-recommendations/

Design for Your Users

Great mobile design requires all the best practices from Human Centered Design and should provide consistent information as other agency channels.

Agency Examples and Recommendations

Resources to help your agency comply with the Connected Government Act.

Pay Attention to Analytics

Analytics are everywhere! This section will help you uncover and analyze the data you need to make mobile users happy.

Develop Your Site

What’s the best way to build a mobile website? Below are some approaches and tools we think you will find helpful.

  • A Guide to Creating Mobile-Friendly Websites
    JavaScript usage, CSS usage, image and resource sizing, caching/network usage, and popups. These are the top five practices that the most visited government websites should focus on in order to be more mobile-friendly. But how can you work on each of these areas to help ensure your website keeps mobile users delighted and coming back?
    https://digital.gov/resources/guide-improve-mobile-friendly-websites/
  • Responsive Design Overview, Resources and Tools
    Responsive web design refers to a fluidly-constructed web page layout that scales from handheld device displays to large, high-resolution computer displays using flexible typography, flexible images, fluid grids, and CSS3 media queries.
    https://www.digitalgov.gov/2013/06/11/responsive-design/
  • Accessibility
    The Accessibility Guild in the Technology Transformation Services (TTS) at the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) set out to understand how people in different roles practice accessibility. We asked designers, developers, and product managers across our organization to share their accessibility practices, from self-testing to asking for help. We heard about the barriers that can stand in the way of making products more accessible, from lack of knowledge to lack of buy-in.
    https://digital.gov/2018/07/10/introducing-accessibility-for-teams/
  • Mobile Development and Testing with Chrome Developer Tools
    Chrome Developer Tools (or DevTools) are a set of web authoring and debugging tools built into the Google Chrome web browser. Its controls allow you to simulate a wide range of devices, and help you build responsive, mobile-first web experiences.
    https://www.digitalgov.gov/2016/11/21/mobile-development-and-testing-with-chrome-devtools/
  • 8 Ways to Format Tables for Responsive Web Design
    We regularly access charts and tables on our desktop computer to glean valuable information from a pile of data. But, how can you display a full-size, desktop sized chart on a 4-inch smartphone screen, and make it remain useful?
    https://www.digitalgov.gov/2014/10/28/trends-on-tuesday-8-ways-to-format-tables-for-responsive-web-design/
  • HHS Conquers Tables in a Responsive Design
    We moved HHS.gov to a responsive template to ensure that users accessing our site in a mobile environment had the best possible experience. Our department faced several challenges in moving a site the size of HHS.gov into a responsive template and one of those challenges surrounded our need to make tables work in a responsive environment.
    https://www.digitalgov.gov/2014/10/30/hhs-conquers-tables-in-a-responsive-design/

Test Your Mobile Website

You need to embed testing in the creation, development and launch of your mobile product. These articles will give what you need to know to test successfully.

Focus on Performance

If your mobile product breaks a user’s phone, you are not creating a good experience. Here are some concepts and approaches you should apply to your development process to avoid a bulky product.

Case Studies and Good Examples

There are a number of resources in the private sector for designing excellent user experience. Here are some recommended by the MobileGov Community of Practice.

Other Resources

We’ve covered the essentials above, but below is information about policies, platforms, and other resources you should think about when building a mobile experience.

App Platforms

If you are creating an app, you will need to work with the platform to get your app added to their store. The following have federal-compatible Terms of Service agreements.

Native Apps or Progressive Web Apps

Should you focus your efforts on either of these two options?

Native Apps

Progressive Web Apps

When you are building an app or creating a mobile-friendly site, there are certain requirements to be aware of.

Initiatives

Policies

Security

Privacy

Negotiated Federal Terms of Service

Federal Mobile Apps Directory

A sortable list of all known federal government apps.
https://www.usa.gov/mobile-apps

U.S. Digital Registry

Resource to confirm the official status of social media and public-facing collaboration accounts, mobile apps, and mobile websites.
https://digital.gov/services/u-s-digital-registry/

MobileGov Community of Practice

Join this network of federal employees who are tackling mobile technology challenges together.
https://www.digitalgov.gov/communities/mobile/

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