UX

Using Personas to Better Understand Customers: USA.gov Case Study

Apr 6, 2015 |

Personas are fictional characters that describe an organization’s customer behaviors, emotions, attributes, motivations, and goals. They are an important tool to share customer insights and understanding across an organization. Personas also serve as a check to make sure your organization’s actions meet the needs of the majority of customers, including visitors to your website, contact Read »

CareerOneStop’s Newest Online Resources: Targeted to User Needs

Apr 2, 2015 | ,

When the Employment and Training Administration’s CareerOneStop team embarked on a redesign of the site’s online career, training, and job resources, they didn’t dive right into the technical work. Instead, they embraced a user-centered approach that focused on the user experience (UX). Focusing on UX means taking a step back Read »

Usability Design for Kids: Things Federal Workers Should Know

Mar 24, 2015 |

I used to teach 8th grade science in inner city Denver in the 1990s. After that, I supported special education students and their teachers in North Carolina. Around that time (mid-late 1990s), the Internet wasn’t really designed for kids –most of the electronic materials I Read »

Getting Started with Usability Testing

Mar 19, 2015 |

At the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), our new open data policy will begin making more Agency-funded data broadly accessible to the public. It completely changes the way we do business, and it also means that in the coming years, the amount of data we Read »

At Last: User Experience Performance Descriptions!

Mar 17, 2015 |

To improve your digital systems with user experience (UX), you need people. And to get people in government, you need position descriptions. While DigitalGov has collected a wide variety of position descriptions, Read »

Why Your APIs Need Design Help

Mar 16, 2015 |

Anything built should be built right. It doesn’t matter if it’s built of wood, carbon nanotubes or code. So it’s encouraging that the practice of User-Centered Design—getting customer feedback at every stage of a project—is catching on with Read »

The New FedRAMP.gov Is Here

Mar 12, 2015 |

On Wednesday, March 11, FedRAMP unveiled a redesigned FedRAMP.gov. The new site focuses on user experience that fosters a better understanding of FedRAMP from basic knowledge, to in-depth program requirements and includes the launch of a Read »

The Content Corner: Performing a Content Audit

Mar 9, 2015 |

Audit. It’s a word that generally has no positive connotations whatsoever. We hear the word audit and we think of tax audits or timesheet audits, etc. The word normally strikes fear or dread in the hearts of most mortals. But it is also a task that all websites will need to perform from time to Read »

The Usability ‘Aha!’ Moment: How to Turn Cynics into Converts

Mar 6, 2015 | ,

User Experience (UX) is the comprehensive experience a person has when using a product or application, and usability is the ease of use (or lack thereof) when using it. Many of us have discovered the vast advantages of evaluating usability on our own; however, getting others to jump on board is often a different story. Read »

Avoid Weak ‘Links’ in Your Digital Chain

Feb 25, 2015 |

Users don’t like surprises. Unexpected or unwanted content undermines the credibility of your agency and frustrates users who come to your website looking for specific information. Using links appropriately in your website content is one way to build trust with users, according to an article by Kara Pernice of the Nielsen Norman Group. Here’s a Read »

Institutionalizing User Experience: Building Usability into Your Organization

Feb 13, 2015 |

So, you have some systems or tools your customers or employees access. Maybe you want to put together a robust capability to conduct usability testing. How do you start formalizing user experience (UX) into your organization? Brad Ludlow at GSA tossed this topic out on the User Experience community listserv, and I’ve encapsulated the superb discussion that Read »

Agency Perspectives on Personas (Use, Development and Challenges)

Feb 2, 2015 |

Personas are tools your agency can use to learn about your end users and drive decisions. Personas are so useful because they serve as a communication tool for your team. You can keep these personas in mind to guide any work that your agency performs. Let’s delve a bit deeper into personas and review two Read »

7 Ways to Ignite User-Centered Design at Your Agency

Jan 27, 2015 |

So you’ve done a couple of usability studies, and a few people are starting to “see the light.” Now you’d like to take it to the next level and help your organization embrace user-centered design (UCD) as the philosophy that drives all your digital projects. But what is best way to do this? How can Read »

How to Run an Agile Project in Government

Jan 16, 2015 |

For a seminar organized by DigitalGov University, Robert Read, the Managing Director at 18F, gave a presentation on agile methodologies in the federal government. Risk mitigation is a big advantage of using the agile methodology. The methodology deals with risk through the use of multiple iterations or “sprints” that ultimately lead to the development of Read »

Personas 101

Jan 9, 2015 |

Personas are a tool organizations can use to learn more about their users. They are used to learn as much as you can about end users in order to better the product or service you provide. If you are able to think as a user during the design and development of a product or service, Read »