Friday, September 27, 2013

Making Mobile Gov: User Experience Recommendations

By: Jacob Parcell, Manager, Mobile Programs, GSA Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies - Sept 27, 2013

You only have a few minutes—sometimes seconds—to impress the anytime, anywhere user with your mobile app, website, or text message. If you don't impress them, they will turn to other sources for your information. Members of the Mobile Gov Community of Practice took this to heart when they developed 42 guidelines and recommendations for mobile communication. Review them yourself, share them (and the toolkit) with your staff and tell us what you think. Thanks! --Jacob

Making Gov Mobile: User Experience Recommendations

 
Mobile Gov User Experience Guidelines and Recommendations are here!

How We Did It


Official Army iPhone app
Photo courtesy of Flickr user The U.S. Army, CC BY 2.0
Last November, as part of revisiting the state of Mobile Gov, government mobile innovators identified a need for guidelines to help create amazing and engaging mobile user experiences. We convened a group to workshop around elements of mobile user experience with the goal to develop user experience practices for government.

We then asked you to set priorities and help hone a set of useful, actionable user experience guidelines and recommendations that agencies could adopt. More than 100 people from 35 federal agencies, states, the private sector and academia helped rank these practices in our crowdsourcing effort.

We took the feedback, did some analysis and posted these guidelines and recommendations developed by Mobile Gov practitioners on the Mobile Gov Wiki.

What We Found


We ended up with a foundation of 42 recommendations for agencies.

Information architecture (IA) practices–that is the logical structures that help people find information and complete tasks–were identified as the most critical recommendation. Bottom line, with less real estate on mobile screens, Mobile Gov developers need to focus on making the information and/or task easier to find.

See the Mobile User Experience Toolkit for help you can use to create good mobile IA.

The conversation on mobile user experience is not finished with just IA. It’s just heating up. As you can see, mobilegov innovators also recommended practices in functionality, content, trustworthiness and design.

What’s Next


First, take a look at the recommendations. They are meant to evolve as this fast moving technology evolves. Let us know what’s missing. Tell us how we can be clearer. Share your UX tips.

Next, you can learn more about the recommendations, how to implement them and get your questions answered at our webinar panel on September 25th with the folks from NIH, Department of Labor and the State Department who led this effort. Check out the archive here.

Last, stay tuned to the Mobile Gov blog, because over the next two weeks we’ll be featuring more recommendations.

So, watch the archived webinar and tell us your thoughts on these practices in the discussion area we’ve set up or in the comments below.



This post was originally published on the Mobile Gov blog from the Mobile Gov Community of Practice—thanks for letting us republish, guys! This discussion is brought to you by the Federal Communicators Network. FCN members are government employees managing U.S. government communications. We've published lots more on this topic. Check out Free Trainings and Events for Gov Communicators.

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