Note: This is a guest blog post by Amando E. Gavino, Jr., Director, Office of Network Services, ITS/FAS/GSA. He is responsible for a portfolio of telecommunication acquisition solutions that provide government agencies the ability to meet their diverse set of telecommunication requirements. Acquisition solutions include Networx, Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions – EIS (the future replacement for Networx), SATCOM, Enterprise Mobility, Connections II, Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative – Wireless (FSSI-W), and the Federal Relay Service.
Summary: The Administration announces new wireless research efforts that will improve testing and research of advanced wireless technologies. Benjamin Franklin. Thomas Edison. George Washington Carver. Samuel Morse. America is a nation of inventors, and invention has spurred American growth since its inception, to the benefit of all Americans. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkEG8KLvaAc&w=600] That same spirit of invention continues today, and this Administration has worked tirelessly over the past seven years to promote pro-innovation policies to help the U.
User-Generated Content (UGC) is a buzzword as of late, popularized recently due to the ever increasing demand for new content. To define the phrase, let’s look to a shining example of it,Wikipedia, as a source, “any form of content such as blogs, wikis, discussion forums, posts, chats,tweets, podcasts, digital images, video, audio files, advertisements, and other forms of media that was created by users of an online system or service, often made available via social media websites.
We’re thrilled to announce the Space Apps 2016 Global Award Winners!! These projects well represent the best of the best innovative thinking this year. Congratulations to all the teams. We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming NASA launch in Florida. Best Use of Data: Scintilla, created at the Space Apps Pasadena, California main stage event, mitigates the impact of poor air quality in the global community by democratizing air quality data collection.
Summary: The 2016 National Preparedness Report is an important guidepost in our work to build a stronger, more resilient America. Today we released the 2016 National Preparedness Report, an important guidepost in our work to build a stronger, more resilient America. The findings of this year’s report are significant. This vital information is analyzed to gauge the progress that community partners—including all levels of government, private and nonprofit sectors, faith-based organizations, communities, and individuals—are making to prepare for a wide array of threats and hazards.
It’s not a secret that mobile Internet viewership is booming, but according to a ComScore report released last June, 49% of the audiences for the top 100 digital properties are now mobile-only. Additionally, during the third quarter last year, Gartner reported PC shipments fell 7.7% while IDC Research reported a 10.8% decline. The switch to mobile will continue, and for government websites, the trend is no different. For this reason, it’s important to optimize your mobile experience.
__Phablets, once mocked for their large size, may be the next big form factor dominating mobile devices, if new data from the holiday season is any indication. Flurry Mobile, part of Yahoo’s mobile analytics division, published two reports about phablet devices at the beginning of the new year, showing their continued growth and that people use them more than traditional or smaller mobile devices. The percentage of new phablet-sized phone activations during the 2014-2015 holiday period more than doubled to 27% from 13%.
As a followup to the recent post about our annual customer satisfaction survey, we wanted to dig into the data and share some of the overall results, to give you some more insights into how we’re using your feedback to improve our programs and services. Background: For the past three years, GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies (OCSIT) has conducted an annual survey to measure customer satisfaction.
There are several things federal agencies need to think about in the mobile space. Is my website responsive, so that consumers can view it on any device (desktop/laptop, tablet, smartphone)? Do I have mobile apps that fill citizen needs? But does texting have a place in the U.S. government, as we strive to serve citizens where THEY are? Here are at least 9 factors you need to consider, according to GovDelivery, and Forrester analysts Art Schoeller and Thomas Husson:
In January on DigitalGov, we’ll highlight pieces looking at trends we see coming in the digital government space in 2015 and beyond. We have lined up articles around: Customer Service Data 3D Printing at NIH and NASA Accessibility Mobile, and Training. Check back Monday, when we kick-off the month with 15 Government Customer Service Trends. And you can look at some of our most recent monthly theme articles in: crowdsourcing, user experience, and mobile.
In the mobile world, every second matters. Mobile users are a finicky bunch. They want their information anytime, anywhere and quickly. As members of the MobileGov Community of Practice have noted last year, mobile user experience is about emotion. If that emotion is not happy, you will lose the user. For this month’s DigitalGov user experience theme, we decided to talk about how speed can be a key to a user’s happiness.
As it’s time to return to school, the Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families is helping parents and teachers prepare anytime, anywhere. Head Start Resources, an app available on iOS and Android, is a gateway to tools and resources for those associated with or interested in the program. With the app, users can access: The latest and greatest in Head Start News and updates, The nearest Head Start locations with a map feature that utilizes geolocation, Links to their website via a search function, with resources pertaining to Performance Standards and information about the Head Start Act, and Help by utilizing the “Contact Us” section, featuring a phone number, email, office hours, and an interactive form.
You’ve just found a great open source fed agency app on the Mobile Code Sharing Catalog, and would love to use one of its cool functionalities for your own agency’s app. As federal agencies release more and more code to the open source community, this dilemma is becoming increasingly commonplace. Agencies who open-source their entire app’s code are taking an excellent first step; the next challenge is to get the really interesting and useful code reused more readily.
Responsive Web design is widely-known as a go-to solution for designing a website to fit on any device’s screen size. As we found in our February workshop, federal agencies are implementing it for various reasons. There are various ways to implement responsive design. Some agencies have implemented it via structured data and content modeling and others have completely redesigned their website. Agencies who are not yet at that point are looking for ways they can begin.
The Department of Health and Human Service’s Mobile REMM App provides physicians and emergency medical staff with the latest and greatest information concerning radioactive and nuclear emergencies. Available on iOS, Android, and Blackberry platforms, the native application showcases comprehensive information concerning dose estimators and resources to initiate a variety of triages on site without requiring mobile connectivity. After its April update to 2.0.1, users now have access to management algorithms that provide scenario-based flowcharts to help in treatment decision making.
As highlighted in this Trends on Tuesday post, time spent on mobile phones—about 3 hours per day—has surpassed that of daily PC usage. This yields a significant opportunity for consumer interaction with federal agencies’ mobile apps, not just websites, and social media outlets. To take advantage of new opportunities for consumer interaction, federal agencies are implementing social media as part of their mobile products. We surveyed the mobile products submitted to the Federal Apps Registry to see how agencies are incorporating social media into their mobile products.
Ask, and you shall receive. That was the strategy behind the new homepage from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new CDC.gov homepage debuted last month with a responsive design that offers a “one-site-fits-all” experience based on feedback from you, the public. Before setting out on their journey of Web redesign, the CDC team sorted through satisfaction survey and traffic data from more than 10,000 users who came to CDC.
While many of us were planning for barbecues or heading to lakes and beaches on the eve of Memorial Day Weekend, the digital team at Arlington National Cemetery was busy doing what they do best: honoring the sacrifices of America’s veterans with the launch of an upgraded mobile app that helps the public to engage with the history of this sacred site and the fallen who rest there. Released in time to mark the Cemetery’s 150 years of military burials, the ANC Explorer 2.
The federal government can now unlock the collaborative “genius” of citizens and communities to make public services easier to access and understand with a new free social media platform launched by GSA today at the Federal #SocialGov Summit on Entrepreneurship and Small Business. News Genius, an annotation wiki based on Rap Genius now featuring federal-friendly Terms of Service, allows users to enhance policies, regulations and other documents with in-depth explanations, background information and paths to more resources.
Responsive Web design implementations in the federal government have members of the Mobile Gov Community of Practice asking what is responsive Web design and how do we do it? In February, the Mobile Gov Community of Practice hosted a workshop with more than 40 feds from 19 agencies to answer these questions. This article is the first in a series of articles and events to highlight what we learned at the workshop and explore related topics agencies need to consider when implementing this technology.
Need to make a pitch for injury prevention? About to give an impromptu public health presentation that can benefit from a few sobering data points about leading causes of death in your state? (Or maybe you just have a keen interest in the macabre while waiting for the bus.) Well, go grab your iPads: The Center for Disease Control’s national Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System or WISQARS has now been packaged into a portable mobile app for iPad users that performs when and where you need it.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is bringing lots of change to the traditional healthcare landscape as practitioners and healthcare companies gear up for an influx of patient demand. There are also changes to the way healthcare companies and doctors will track and report reimbursements. And not only is the healthcare changing but also are the mobile habits of healthcare practitioners — especially doctors. According to InformationWeek, 86% of physicians and “mid-level” clinicians now use smartphones in their professional activities, up from 78% in 2012.
Money for college? It’s never too early — or too late, for that matter — to start schooling oneself in the possibilities of federal financial aid. Following in the footsteps of their StudentAid.gov website, the digital team at Ed.gov’s Federal Student Aid (FSA) closed out 2013 with the launch of FinancialAidToolkit.ed.gov, a “sister” site featuring a flexible, easy-to-access responsive design. What StudentAid.ed.gov is to students, the new FinancialAidToolkit.ed.gov is to guidance counselors, “college access professionals,” nonprofit mentors, community organizations, volunteers and others.
Piggybacking on one of my earlier posts, People are Crazy about Mobile, I’m going to talk about “Distracted Walking.” Who among us hasn’t walked and texted or checked Facebook or Twitter on our smartphones, but have bumped into someone or something while texting on your smartphone? I know I am guilty of that. Maybe you’ve seen this viral video of a woman who, distracted by Facebook on her phone, fell into a fountain.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is taking the well-known slogan, “See something, say something,”__ to the crowd. Consider it more “See something, submit something.” Harnessing the power of citizen intelligence to understand and respond to disasters, FEMA in late 2013 launched a new feature in its iOS/Android app that crowd-sources photos of disasters and extreme events. “Disaster Reporter” enables people to upload photos of disaster scenes with short captions, which, after a quick vetting process, are then plotted by location on an interactive map.
Did this week’s polar vortex wreak havoc on your heating and cooling system? Maybe now you’re in the hunt for a new furnace or looking for more efficient ways to keep warm? Just in time for the epic deep freeze, the team at the Department of Energy has created a much improved web experience for users of their Energy Saver and other popular programs with the launch of a shiny new version of Energy.
Feeling the need for [more] speed? Well, so is the mobile team at the Federal Communications Commission. As part of the agency’s Measuring Broadband America Program, the FCC is looking to the crowd (that means you!) to help them assess America’s mobile broadband performance on a national scale. Their hope is to use the data they collect anonymously through their new FCC Speed Test app—Android-only for now—to create a detailed picture that could improve both the cellular and WIFI speeds you experience on your mobile device.
Today we want to tell you about the federal agency trends we saw this year in the development of public facing mobile products. Digital Government Strategy drove Mobile Gov Development Digital Government Strategy milestone 7.2 required agencies to implement two public facing mobile products in May. The White House highlighted these agency mobile product implementations. Responsive Design Proliferated. During the summer and fall a number of agencies like the Department of State, Department of Commerce, Department of Energy, USA.
Canalys, an international IT company, predicted last week that tablets will almost out-ship all other PC form factors combined next year. They expect that tablets will account for almost 50% of the total client PC market (that includes desktops, notebooks, and tablets) in 2014. PC shipments accounted for 40% of PC shipments in Q3 2013, less than half a million units behind global notebook shipments. Tablet domination is set to continue, with Canalys forecasting 285 million units to ship in 2014, growing to 396 million units in 2017.
Oh, Thanksgiving! If you need to take a time-out from the dinner table for a little of your own (cyber)space, give these apps a try: Does a holiday with your extended family put your nerves on edge? The Breathe2Relax and TacticalBreather mobile apps are specially designed to help you control physiological responses to stress through the simple yet scientifically proven act of guided deep breathing. Both offer customizable settings. Just lighten up on the onion dip before trying them out.
The Department of State has updated their mobile website m.state.gov with responsive design. The site auto-detects mobile devices and displays the State mobile site by default. State’s mobile site provides the latest foreign policy information from the State Department. Included are recent stories from the Secretary’s travels, the daily press briefing, country fact sheets, human rights reports, and more. Responsive design is becoming a popular means of creating a single site that can display nicely on a range of device sizes.
The Pew Research Center recently released a report on “12 Trends Shaping Digital News.” Some of these trends show that mobile devices continue to affect how the public consumes the news. The report found: 19% of Americans saw news on a social network “yesterday” in 2012, more than double the 9% who had done so in 2010. 64% of tablet owners and 62% of smartphone owners said they got news on their devices in 2012.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has two apps that can help citizens learn about their housing rights, locate housing counselors and file housing discrimination complaints. The HUD Counselor Locator App allows smartphone and tablet users to locate housing counselors in their own area who can help distressed homeowners avoid foreclosure and obtain more favorable modifications. home buyers determine if they are ready for homeownership, and connect them with safer and more affordable mortgages.
Content refers to the various types of material in different formats, such as text, images and video, that provide information to the user (it also fits into a mobile product’s information architecture). From the 42 Mobile Gov User Experience guidelines and recommendations released last week, you deemed 7 ‘critical’ around the content element. Specifically, it is critical that mobile gov products; Provide user-centered content Eliminate unnecessary elements Use analytics to identify content priorities (e.
Looking to jumpstart your mobile website development? Check out the Web Experience Toolkit (WET) available on the Mobile Code Sharing Catalog. The toolkit includes reusable components for building and maintaining innovative Web sites that are accessible, usable, and interoperable. Developed as a collaborative open source project by the Government of Canada, the WET has reusable components that are open source software and free for use by departments and external Web communities.
Following up on their mobile website, the Social Security Administration recently released the SSI Mobile Wage Reporting app for Android and iOS devices. The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources. SSI benefits also are payable to people 65 and older without disabilities who meet the financial limits. The app allows SSI recipients and their families to report their monthly wages to Social Security from their finger tips.
The General Services Administration has made a mobile version of its eBuy website. The mobile site provides ease of access to small businesses and customers to keep an eye on new bidding opportunities and other information associated with their contract(s) while on the go. One of the features of the mobile site is that it provides push notifications via SMS messages that will alert the users/contractors based on: Award/No Award eBuy Outage – RFQ/RFI Extension Notices New Request for Quote (RFQ)/Request for Information Modified RFQ/RFI Cancelled RFQ/RFI Received Quote To receive these notifications, contractors must register their cell phone number here.
MobileMarketingWatch released an article explaining why it is important for the workplace to be making the move to mobile. When it comes to marketing, it is essential to understand your customer and be easily discoverable or else your product will go unseen. It is all about “place, place, place.” It is no secret the use of smartphones and tablets is increasing all the time, so being easily discoverable on these devices is absolutely essential.
The social media landscape changes every day, and viral content heralds trends to come. Government must learn to adapt in order to deliver more effective and efficient services for citizens. At this SocialGov Summit we explored the world of Viral Government and continue our efforts to bring the most advanced capabilities and strategies to agencies’ missions. Take a look at the presentation from TSA’s blogger Bob on how they respond to viral content and make their content interesting and learn how you can do the same.
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 field offices, and more. Whether you are using a smart phone, tablet, or other mobile device, the screen automatically adjusts to your device’s screen size making it very user friendly and easy to navigate. The site, developed in Drupal, provides all the essentials needed to quickly direct the user to where it is they wish to go, without limiting the content.
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 marketing and strategy, he says it’s easy to get caught up in the hot new trends that might not necessarily be the best for promoting your product. The mobile product your agency is trying to promote needs to fit your customers, and creating mobile personas is a strategic way of doing that.
Gearing up for the Fourth? Here are some anytime, anywhere government apps that can help make celebrating the United States easier and more fun. If you’re worried about the weather you can check out the National Weather Service mobile website. If the heat is a concern, the OSHA Heat Index Safety Tool will tell you the heat index of your location and list the precautions you need to take in order to stay safe.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services redesigned Medicare.gov as a new and improved responsive mobile website for their users (beneficiaries, caregivers and advocates). The users of the Medicare.gov can apply for Medicare services find health plans, doctors, hospitals and nursing homes review Medicare costs, claims, appeals and modify an existing Medicare plan. Medicare.gov users can also access the blog, news and videos sections. The responsive framework of the Medicare.
Drivers can find the closest alternative fueling sites anytime, anywhere with the Alternative Fuel Locator. The Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has created this mobile website that allows users to locate alternative fueling stations. Using Google map technology and data from the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC), the site allows drivers to map the closest biodiesel (B20 and above), electric, ethanol (E85), hydrogen, liquefied natural gas (LNG), compressed natural gas, or propane fueling sites.
It used to be when we said mobile we meant activities and devices defined strictly by mobility and the features associated with it, such as GPS, SMS, barcode readers, cell phones, etc. But when I found myself in my easy chair watching a ballgame on my laptop because it was closer than the TV, while checking other scores on my smartphone, mobility had little to do with it. If anything, I was the anti-mobile user.
Anytime, anywhere government information and services are becoming more important as the public increasingly consumes information and services on the go. As we announced last week, agencies can now get assistance with their mobile development efforts with our new Mobile Application Development Program. Tomorrow, we will host a webinar and a wikithon to highlight our program that helps agencies plan, develop, test and launch anytime, anywhere, any device mobile products and services for the public.
The federal government’s Mobile Code Catalog has company! This month, NASCIO released a new State Mobile Apps Catalog, a collection of over 160 state and territory native mobile apps that users can browse and download for smart phones and tablets. The apps are searchable by state/territory, by category and through an overall browse function. Visitwww.nascio.org/apps to look through the topics or upload your state’s native apps. “This tool offers a convenient way to see what other states are producing in terms of mobile apps, and allowing states to generate ideas for their own state or territory,” said Brenda Decker, NASCIO president and Nebraska CIO.
Anytime, Anywhere, Any Device. The 21st century imperative to deliver government information and services to the public anytime, anywhere and on any device makes mobile a critical tactic in the federal Digital Government Strategy. Today, GSA’s Digital Services Innovation Center and the Federal CIO Council launch the Mobile Application Development Program to provide agencies with tools they need to make great mobile products available to the public. The program–developed with and by 25 agencies across government–will help agencies in each stage of mobile development.
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 citizen can explore images, videos and animations on an iOS, Android or Windows mobile device. The images, videos and animations deliver an epic view of the rocky terrestrial planet, known as the Red Planet.
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 help them make informed decisions, with features including: 5-Star Safety Ratings: Consumers considering vehicle purchases can look up crash test ratings and compare them across different makes and models.
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 on the length of your visit. Using your device’s geolocation capabilities and camera, the app uses augmented reality to identify the landmarks around you.
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 to prepare for a tornado – and all that comes with it – in the palm of your hand. The app includes an audible siren that goes off when a tornado warning is issued in your area. In addition, it provides:
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 strategies and tools to help change behavior and assist people with giving up smoking. NCI QuitPal’s features include: Set a quit date, financial goals, and reminders Track daily smoking habits with an easy-to-use calendar See graphs tracking money saved and number of packs not smoked Receive health milestones and craving tips to stay motivated Connect with social networks to give milestone updates Create a video diary, and watch personalized video messages from loved ones Access NCI’s Cancer Information Service by toll-free phone line or live chat You can find more mobile products like NCI’s QuitPal on the USA.
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 year. Last week the mWomen Design Challenge announced winners. Supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), it asked developers to help redefine mobile user experiences for women in resource-poor settings.
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 has listed 12 elements to consider for building good mobile user experiences. In this webinar, Mobile Gov developers from the National Institutes of Health and Department of Veteran’s Affairs talk about how mobile user experience is different from traditional channels, discuss how to approach user experience during mobile implementations, and demonstrate their successful practices.
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 and iPhone versions, which take advantage of your smartphone’s GPS features to provide a walking tour of the battle site in Normandy and allows you to experience how U.S. Army Rangers scaled the 100 ft. cliffs of Pointe du Hoc, destroyed a critical German battery and took control of the coastal highway, playing a crucial role in the Allied success of D-Day.
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 know! APIs Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have been called the “secret sauce” for digital services. They help open information (content and data) so it can be reused inside and outside of government.
Are you creating a mobile website or app for your agency? On Tuesday, October 30, at 11 a.m. we will host a webinar to get agencies thinking about how they can prepare for the entire life cycle of their mobile products—from planning–to implementing—to continually updating and upgrading. This webinar will feature 3 agencies giving their stories in these 3 “phases” of the cycle. First, the U.S. State Department will discuss the issues around planning mobile app development.
There’s an easier way to get content and data into the hands of citizens. Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs, are web services that allow people to more easily consume content and data in multiple ways–via mobile devices, mobile apps, innovative mash-ups, and much more. Simply put, “APIs are a better way to get government information and services into the hands of the people who need them.” To help agencies better understand APIs, DigitalGov University hosted a webinar, An Introduction to APIs, with experts from NASA and CDC.
_ Mobile Gov Experiences are agency stories about creating anytime, anywhere, any device government services and info. This entry is a story shared by Healthfinder.gov_. The actual healthfinder.gov site was launched approximately twelve years ago, while the API is a fairly recent development that has occurred in the past year and a half. Why We Did It The reason to go with an API rather than an app or another any other format was in large part due to the type of information we were providing to our audience.
You need resources, and we are here to help with an excellent new webinar series to jump start your agency’s digital gov efforts. Do you think “mobile first”? A “mobile first” approach is where new websites and applications are designed for mobile devices first, instead of designed for the traditional desktop machines. Description In this second webinar in our mobile webinar series, you’ll learn how to get your agency thinking “mobile first.
When agency folks gather together to talk about mobile gov, the number one question asked is, “Should we do a mobile app or a mobile web site?” To help people with that question, we became fight promoters and sponsored THE BATTLE OF THE CENTURY!! Mobile Web Vs. Mobile Apps Two champions debated this hot topic: Neil Bonner, from the Transportation Security Administration, is a proponent of mobile websites.