A couple of days ago I was pointed to a slideshare presentation that was done as a Webmanager University New Media Talk on user centered design. Yes, there is actually a University for the people who manage federal, state and local government websites. While making my way through the slides I discovered that the Government has two separate resources dedicated to how their employees should implement user centered websites; usability.gov and usa.gov/webcontent. These sites are filled with content written by knowledgeable phd's, which is great, but when government websites seem to be falling further behind in web design and usability, it begs the question of why they're creating their own resources and not just using the myriad ones that exist in the private sector.Continue reading
The day after the reveal of our conceptual FCC comps, the FCC invited Daniel and I over to discuss the redesign. They were very receptive to our suggestions, and indicated a strong desire to implement some significant changes to the site in the relatively near future. We haven't seen anything with our own eyes – yet – but they asked smart questions and gave good answers to our questions. We're hopeful that there's some good work to be seen in the near future.Continue reading
Over the last few weeks there's been a lot of discussion concerning the redesign of the FCC website. We've discussed problems and potential solutions, with many of you helping us to identify a usable navigation structure through our card sorting tool. Now it's time to move onto the design.Continue reading
Sunlight Labs is looking for talented people to fill two open job positions: Graphic/Web Designer and Data Visualizer. Check out our job descriptions below and apply or spread the word.Continue reading
Thanks to everyone who took part in our online card sorting exercise last week. We had a great response, and it was really helpful in putting together a more cohesive and understandable structure for our upcoming FCC redesign. Without further ado, here's what we landed on:Continue reading
Have 15 to 20 minutes to help us redesign the FCC's website? There are just a few days left to participate in our card sorting exercise. If you have the time today or tomorrow, visit http://websort.net/s/B74CAB/ to get started. I'll be gathering the results Friday morning and will then start on the design.
Thanks to all who have participated so far!
Get Started here: http://websort.net/s/B74CAB/Continue reading
There has been a lot of great discussion on our blog and in our google group regarding how to redesign the FCC website as part of our redesigning the government series. But instead of moving straight into the design I thought it might be beneficial to explore how we might organize the content of the FCC site by sharing with them, and other government agencies a tool on how to think through it.Continue reading
President Obama's nomination of Judge Sotomayor has brought increased attention to the U.S. Supreme Court. It also has led us to reexamine the Court's web site, which is long overdue for an overhaul. In its current form, its web design is suggestive of the 1990s, and its functionality is similarly dated.
The Justices appear to agree. They've recently ask Congress for money to move control of the site in-house, taking over responsibility from the GPO. This move would allow them, in their words, to "better control and manage the web site and to be able to expand the data and services provided by the site more efficiently."Continue reading
John Wonderlich and I teamed up to show how Sunlight envisions a future executive branch lobbying disclosure site. Check it out on the Sunlight Foundation blog.Continue reading
Continuing with our redesigning the government project, we have moved on to the EPA. Many of you might ask why we would want to redesign the EPA – it looks like it's been redesigned recently and seems to have a lot of new and up-to-date features. I think what happens with a lot of redesigns is that people start thinking of all the fun things they can add to a site, rather than thinking of the underlying problems and finding good solutions to fit those problems. Good design and good websites aren't just made up of pretty pictures and Web 2.0 features like gradients and podcasts. A good site has structure and organization, and is easy for users to navigate. I think the EPA has started down a good path, and I want to show them that by emphasizing the right things on a page, it makes the content much more accessible and would take their good site and make it a great site.Continue reading