U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

The Data Briefing: Help #HackSuicide This Weekend

Dec 9, 2015 |

A month ago, I wrote about the White House’s call for data scientists and app developers to come together to help combat suicide. On December 12, 2015, there will be five hackathons around the U.S. to #HackSuicide. All the hackathons are free and open to the public. Even if you are not a data scientist, Read »

The Data Briefing: White House Asks Data Scientists and App Developers to Help Suicide Prevention Efforts

Oct 7, 2015 |

The White House issued a call on September 30, 2015, for data scientists and app developers to help with a vital public health issue: suicide prevention. From the official announcement: “If you are a data scientist, analyst, tech innovator, or entrepreneur interested in sharing ideas and resources for suicide prevention, we want to hear from Read »

How OSTP Crowdsourced A Crowdsourcing Toolkit

Sep 30, 2015 |

To promote crowdsourcing, one effective tool is, well, crowdsourcing. Today, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the Federal Community of Practice for Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science (CCS) unveiled the Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing Toolkit. The toolkit contains information, resources, and best practices federal agencies can use to harness the power Read »

Day 100: The Great Federal Mobile Product Hunt

Sep 10, 2015 |

A long time ago in a federal agency building far, far away on F Street… the Great Federal Mobile Product Hunt launched at the DigitalGov Citizen Services Summit in Washington, DC. Read »

DAY 50: The Great Federal Mobile Product Hunt!

Jul 9, 2015 |

An update on the Great Federal Mobile Product Hunt. Read »

2015 Customer Service Trends: a Mid-Year Update

Jul 8, 2015 |

Earlier this year, we published 15 Government Customer Service Trends for 2015. We’re halfway through the year now—how are these trends holding up? 1. Centralized Customer Offices A few agencies have created centralized customer offices, while others question the need for a single organization that focuses on the customer. As the public’s overall satisfaction with Read »

Using Section 508 Guidance to Improve the Accessibility of Government Services

Jun 5, 2015 |

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires federal agencies to use accessible information and communication technology (ICT), whether procured, developed, or maintained. Since the U.S. Access Board issued regulations for the law in 2000, much implementation guidance has been prepared by various agencies. While the regulations are being refreshed to account for changes in ICT over Read »

Finding the Best Mobile Moment Is the First Stepping Stone to Anytime, Anywhere Government

Jun 1, 2015 |

Mobile-friendliness is a must for government. But mobilizing the whole digital enchilada takes time due to various challenges, as experiences from the Department of Education and National Park Service have illustrated. Many agencies are thinking big things for 2015, but if your agency is struggling with that first mobile implementation, you will be asking yourself Read »

Getting to Know Your Users: Tips and Tricks from Veterans Affairs

May 29, 2015 | ,

Design research isn’t rocket science. But for many of us in the federal government, it can seem daunting and unfamiliar. We’re here to to help demystify the process of design research for those of you ready to wade into the waters. We’ve both done our fair share of design researching at the Department of Veterans Read »

Creating a Veterans-Centered Experience Through ExploreVA

May 1, 2015 |

Good customer service includes user-centered design. For one digital team at the Department of Veterans Affairs, creating a veterans-centered experience started with one word: explore. The ExploreVA website provides a single location for veterans and their families to research the benefits that they may be entitled to receive. Benefits include health care, education, employment, and Read »

Enabling Trusted Digital Interactions Between People & Government

Mar 6, 2015 | ,

Today, people rely heavily on insecure and inefficient means to access federal government applications to conduct business (i.e., they depend on usernames and passwords to log into federal agency services online). Users are required to create and manage several online accounts for different applications, which can become a nuisance, difficult to manage, and creates administrative Read »

Great Customer Service in 140 Characters: #AskFAFSA Twitter Chats

Jan 5, 2015 |

As agencies strive for success in digital government, they often need to open their virtual doors and meet the public in new and evolving spaces. Federal Student Aid meets its audience in the 21st century public square at monthly #AskFAFSA sessions. During the live Read »

Will 2016 Be the Federal Government’s ‘Year of the Customer?’

Dec 1, 2014 |

As 2014 draws to a close, agencies across the federal government are beginning to think about what the customer experience (CX) landscape will look like in the years ahead. There is little doubt that 2014 saw the government make great strides on this front, setting in motion a number of initiatives that will help ensure Read »

Paper Prototyping PTSD Coach

Aug 21, 2014 |

The PTSD Coach mobile app from the Department of Veterans Affairs, provides veterans and users with information about PTSD and professional care, along with self-assessment tools and aid in finding support opportunities. The app has been downloaded over 100,000 times in 74 Read »

508 Accessible Videos – How to Make Audio Descriptions

Jun 30, 2014 | , ,

What are Audio Descriptions? Audio Description, also called descriptive video or video description, is an additional audio track that describes and gives context for essential visual information. Audio Description makes videos and multimedia accessible to people who have “low vision” (very poor vision), or who are blind, by capturing what Read »