Usability.gov - Accessibility http://www.usability.gov/accessibility Ensure your site is 508 compliant and accessible to all. en HHS Usability Lab http://www.usability.gov/how-to-and-tools/guidance/hhs-usability-lab.html <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>The <a href="http://www.hhs.gov/web/aboutus/index.html">Digital Communications Division</a> at the U.S. Department of Health &amp; Human Services (HHS) operates two usability labs. These labs are free of charge for other federal agencies to use. They are located in rooms 453G3.19 and 637F of HHS’ Headquarters:</p> <p><em>Hubert Humphrey Building<br /> 200 Independence Ave, SW<br /> Washington, DC 20002</em></p> <p>The labs are open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. They are closed on federal holidays and follow the <a href="http://www.opm.gov/">Office of Personnel Management</a>’s guidance for closures and dismissals.</p> <h2> Usability Lab Set-up</h2> <p>The usability labs consist of two areas, the testing room and the observation room. The <strong>testing room</strong> accommodates 1-3 individuals, typically a test participant and a moderator. The <strong>observation room</strong> holds up to nine individuals. Use it to observe testing, participate in a focus group, or hold a pre- or post-session meeting.</p> <h2> <img alt="On the left is a diagram of the HHS Usability Lab Testing Room (436H) set-up. On the right is a diagram of the HHS Usability Lab Observation Room (453G3.19436H) set-up." src="/sites/default/files/images/lab.gif" style="border-bottom: 0px solid; border-left: 0px solid; border-top: 0px solid; border-right: 0px solid" title="On the left is a diagram of the HHS Usability Lab Testing Room (436H) set-up. On the right is a diagram of the HHS Usability Lab Observation Room (453G3.19436H) set-up." /></h2> <h2> What am I Responsible for and What will the HHS UX Team Take Care of?</h2> <p>To assist in the process, the HHS UX Team will take care of a number of things; however, prior to making a reservation, please be aware that there are also certain things that you will need to take care of:</p> <p>When using the HHS Usability Lab:</p> <table><thead><tr><th> You Need to:</th> <th> HHS UX Team will:</th> </tr></thead><tbody><tr><td> <ul><li> Provide staff to set up and conduct tests</li> <li> Recruit participants</li> <li> Compensate participants from your own funds, if compensation is planned</li> <li> Follow the rules of the usability lab that are noted below</li> </ul></td> <td> <ul><li> Familiarize visitors with the lab</li> <li> Train you and your staff on the equipment</li> <li> Act as a liaison with HHS Security</li> <li> Ensure you are able to access the site or resource you are testing</li> <li> Provide technical support during testing</li> </ul></td> </tr></tbody></table><h2> Reserving a Usability Lab</h2> <p>The labs are available free of charge to Federal agencies and are scheduled on a first come, first serve basis. To reserve a usability lab, please contact <a href="mailto:info.usability@hhs.gov">info.usability@hhs.gov</a> at least 30-60 days in advance of your desired test date. </p> <p>All reservation requests must include:</p> <ul><li> Federal employee POC / Name</li> <li> Department/Office/Agency</li> <li> Requested test dates</li> <li> Test methodology</li> <li> Technical requirements</li> </ul><p>Please note that scheduled sessions are subject to change should urgent Secretarial priorities arise.</p> <h2> Usability Lab Rules</h2> <p>When you plan to use the lab, please keep in mind the following rules:</p> <ul><li> Users must be trained to use the equipment.  Training is provided to all users undertaking usability testing and takes approximately 1-2 hours.</li> <li> Federal contractors must perform testing under the supervision of federal employees.</li> <li> Test team members must be in place 30-minutes before their first tester is due to arrive.</li> <li> The user is responsible for providing recording media (Flash drive, external drive or CDs) for Windows media and/or Morae recording files.</li> <li> Rooms must be kept neat and clean.</li> <li> No food or drink allowed in the lab.</li> </ul><h2> Preparing to Test</h2> <p>Once you’ve booked a lab, there are several things you need to do to prepare for your test.  All agencies must:</p> <ul><li> Complete pilot testing prior to using the usability lab. A pilot test: <ul style="list-style-type: circle"><li> Involves a full run through of all test materials and technology supports</li> <li> May take place during training or prior to the agency’s first test. At least two members of the test team—typically a moderator and note taker—should be present for pilot testing. Allow 60-90 minutes for pilot testing.</li> </ul></li> <li> Seven days prior to a test date, all agencies must provide a detailed list that includes dates of testing</li> <li> The name of the testing agency</li> <li> The arrival time of the team</li> <li> The time testing will begin and end on each day</li> <li> Primary point of contact and two alternate contacts</li> <li> The arrival and departure time of participants, team members, observers, and escorts</li> </ul><p>No exceptions are made for late lists. You may revise your security list up until 48 hours before the day of testing. Please also ensure that all members of your party are notified to bring a valid Government-issued photo ID. It is required for entry in the Hubert Humphrey Building.</p> <p>Additionally, please review HowTo.gov’s <a href="http://www.howto.gov/about-us/documents/icgi-report-summary-and-background">policies and guidelines for usability testing</a> on federal public websites. Note that <a href="/how-to-and-tools/guidance/pra-overview.html">federal agencies do not need OMB clearance to conduct usability testing if the testing is conducted on nine or fewer users</a>.</p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-include-voc field-type-list-boolean field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Yes</div></div></div> Mon, 07 Oct 2013 17:55:00 +0000 kmesa 2883 at http://www.usability.gov http://www.usability.gov/how-to-and-tools/guidance/hhs-usability-lab.html#comments Creating a User-Centered Approach in Government http://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/user-centered-government.html <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>Government agencies provide vital information and services that affect people’s daily lives. They have the responsibilities of responding to the needs of its citizens, running as effectively and efficiently as possible, and being timely and accurate with its information. By putting people first and embracing a <a href="/node/1604">user-centric approach</a>, agencies improve the quality of their information and services by making them more useful and usable and by <a href="/what-and-why/benefits-of-ucd.html">saving money</a> long-term through making iterative improvements.</p> <h2> Benefits of Changing Government Culture</h2> <p>Users of government systems include both citizens seeking information and services as well as employees trying to conduct their jobs.  Creating a user-centered culture means that government agencies hold themselves to a higher standard by making sure that users can access, understand, and use the information provided.  It also means that users can accomplish their tasks, give input, and know that their feedback is taken into consideration and acted upon. </p> <p>By embracing the <a href="/what-and-why/user-experience.html">user experience (UX) best practices</a> and the user-centered design process, agencies save money long-term and increase their credibility by being more transparent.  Through a user-centric approach, agencies among other things can:</p> <ul><li> Identify and respond to user needs through <a href="/what-and-why/user-research.html">conducting user research</a> while still meeting organizational goals.</li> <li> Produce information that is easily understood and acted upon.</li> <li> Create systems that better facilitate transactions, internally and externally.</li> <li> Deliver information so that it can be accessed anywhere and through various channels and technologies.</li> <li> Encourage participation by making it easy to connect with people.</li> <li> Increase productivity and efficiency with usable systems.</li> <li> Improve based upon feedback and analysis of other performance measurements. </li> </ul><h2> People Taking Advantage of E-Gov</h2> <p>In 2010, <a href="http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Government-Online.aspx">PEW’s Government Online report</a> <a href="http://www.hhs.gov/Disclaimer.html"><img alt="Site exit disclaimer" src="/sites/default/files/images/0-external-disclaimer.jpg" style="width: 11px; height: 10px;" title="Site exit disclaimer" /></a> found that 61% of adults looked for information or made transactions on a government website in the last year.  PEW also found that 31% employed social media, including social networking sites, blogs, text messaging, e-mail and video to find government information.  They noted that this was particularly important because it meant that “people are not only getting involved with government in new and interesting ways, they are also using these tools to share their views with others and contribute to the broader debate around government policies.”</p> <h2> Challenges Unique to Government Agencies</h2> <p>Creating a user-centered environment is important in creating transparency, improving delivery of content, and saving money.  In order to change culture, it’s important to acknowledge and work with some unique challenges that agencies must take into consideration, including:</p> <ul><li> Government sites need to serve large audiences.</li> <li> Restrictions on <a href="/how-to-and-tools/guidance/pra-overview.html">information collection</a> to reduce the burden on the public.</li> <li> Sometimes UX is an afterthought in building a development team or contracting out services.</li> <li> Politics and current events can impact priorities and funding.</li> </ul><p>It’s also important to understand the scope of government websites.  The impact on people’s daily lives makes providing information and services that are usable and useful highly important.</p> <h2> Policies that Help Agencies Embrace UX</h2> <p>Despite the benefits noted above, PEW’s 2010 report on <a href="http://www.pewtrusts.org/our_work_report_detail.aspx?id=58243">The Impact of the Internet on Institutions in the Future</a> <a href="http://www.hhs.gov/Disclaimer.html"><img alt="Site exit disclaimer" src="/sites/default/files/images/0-external-disclaimer.jpg" style="width: 11px; height: 10px;" title="Site exit disclaimer" /></a> found that many technology experts are concerned about whether government agencies will resist change.  Some policies that help agencies embrace UX principles and best practices to improve site performance include but are not limited to the:</p> <ul><li> <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/egov/digital-government/digital-government.html">Digital Government Strategy</a>: requires federal agencies to harness technology to dramatically improve service to the American people.</li> <li> <a href="http://www.howto.gov/web-content/requirements-and-best-practices/omb-policies-for-federal-public-websites">OMB Policies for Federal Public Websites</a>: helps agencies comply with federal information resource management law and policy, and promote citizen–centered government.</li> <li> <a href="http://www.archives.gov/about/laws/egov-act-section-207.html">E-Government Act of 2003, Section 207: Accessibility, Usability, and Preservation of Government Information</a>:  requires the efficient, effective, and appropriately consistent use of Federal agency public websites to promote a more citizen centered government.</li> <li> <a href="http://www.howto.gov/web-content/requirements-and-best-practices/laws-and-regulations/plain-writing-act">The Plain Writing Act of 2010</a> requires the federal government to write all new publications, forms, and publicly distributed documents in a “clear, concise, well-organized” manner.</li> <li> <a href="http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/guide/act.htm">Accessibility (Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act - 29 U.S.C. 794d)</a> requires all Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities.</li> </ul><p>There are also a number of <a href="/how-to-and-tools/index.html">government-specific resources and guidance</a> to implement best practices.</p> <h2> References</h2> <ul><li> <em>Usability in Government Systems</em>:<em> User Experience Design for Citizens and Public Servants</em> by Elizabeth Buie and Dianne Murray (2012)</li> <li> <a href="http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Government-Online.aspx">Government Online</a> <a href="http://www.hhs.gov/Disclaimer.html"><img alt="Site exit disclaimer" src="/sites/default/files/images/0-external-disclaimer.jpg" style="width: 11px; height: 10px;" title="Site exit disclaimer" /></a> report (2010) conducted by PEW</li> <li> <a href="http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2004/How-Americans-Get-in-Touch-With-Government.aspx">How Americans Get in Touch with Government</a> <a href="http://www.hhs.gov/Disclaimer.html"><img alt="Site exit disclaimer" src="/sites/default/files/images/0-external-disclaimer.jpg" style="width: 11px; height: 10px;" title="Site exit disclaimer" /></a> survey (2003) conducted by PEW</li> <li> <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/RuthEllison/usability-for-government-improving-service-delivery-presentation">Usability for Government: Improving Service Delivery</a> <a href="http://www.hhs.gov/Disclaimer.html"><img alt="Site exit disclaimer" src="/sites/default/files/images/0-external-disclaimer.jpg" style="width: 11px; height: 10px;" title="Site exit disclaimer" /></a> by Ruth Ellison and Adrian Newton</li> <li> <a href="http://www.nngroup.com/articles/government-non-profits-usability-roi/">Do Government Agencies and Non-Profits Get ROI from Usability</a> <a href="http://www.hhs.gov/Disclaimer.html"><img alt="Site exit disclaimer" src="/sites/default/files/images/0-external-disclaimer.jpg" style="width: 11px; height: 10px;" title="Site exit disclaimer" /></a>, Nielsen Norman Group</li> </ul></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-include-voc field-type-list-boolean field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Yes</div></div></div> Mon, 07 Oct 2013 17:03:23 +0000 kmesa 2873 at http://www.usability.gov http://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/user-centered-government.html#comments Accessibility Basics http://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/accessibility.html <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>Accessibility focuses on how a disabled person accesses or benefits from a site, system or application. Accessibility is an important part of the designing your site and should be considered throughout the development process. <a href="https://www.section508.gov/">Section 508</a> is the governing principle and it requires that all government information be accessible to disabled users. </p> <h2> Implementing Accessibility</h2> <p>Accessible sites present information through multiple sensory channels, such as sound and sight, and they allow for additional means of site navigation and interactivity beyond the typical point-and-click-interface: keyboard-based control and voice-based navigation. The combination of a multisensory approach and a multi-interactivity approach allows disabled users to access the same information as nondisabled users.</p> <h2> Value of Making Accessibility a Priority</h2> <p>By making your website accessible, you are ensuring that all of your potential users, including people with disabilities, have a decent user experience and are able to easily access your information.  By implementing accessibility best practices, you are also improving the usability of the site for all users.</p> <p>W3C notes that, “accessibility overlaps with other best practices such as <a href="http://www.w3.org/WAI/mobile/">mobile web design</a> <a href="http://www.hhs.gov/Disclaimer.html"><img alt="Site exit disclaimer" src="/sites/default/files/images/0-external-disclaimer.jpg" style="width: 11px; height: 10px;" title="Site exit disclaimer" /></a>, device independence, multi-modal interaction, usability, <a href="http://www.w3.org/WAI/bcase/soc.html#older">design for older users</a> <a href="http://www.hhs.gov/Disclaimer.html"><img alt="Site exit disclaimer" src="/sites/default/files/images/0-external-disclaimer.jpg" style="width: 11px; height: 10px;" title="Site exit disclaimer" /></a>, and search engine optimization (SEO). Case studies show that accessible websites have better search results, reduced maintenance costs, and increased audience reach, among other benefits.”</p> <h2> Best Practices for Accessible Content</h2> <p>When creating digital content, make sure to consider the following:</p> <ul><li> Do not rely on <strong>color</strong> as a navigational tool or as the sole way to differentiate items</li> <li> Images should include <strong>Alt text</strong> in the markup/code; complex images should have more extensive descriptions near the image (perhaps as a caption or descriptive summaries built right into a neighboring paragraph)</li> <li> <strong>Functionality</strong> should be accessible through mouse and keyboard and be tagged to worked with voice-control systems</li> <li> Provide <strong>transcripts</strong> for podcasts</li> <li> If you have a video on your site, you must provide visual access to the audio information through <strong>in-sync captioning</strong></li> <li> Sites should have a <strong>skip navigation</strong> feature</li> <li> Consider <strong>508 testing</strong> to assure your site is in compliance</li> </ul><p>Remember that providing a secondary channel to meet the Section 508 requirements does not guarantee that disabled users will have an equal and positive experience on your site. You must design your secondary channel with both audience and context in mind. In other words, the “secondary channel” doesn’t have to be treated as “secondary”.</p> <h2> References and Resources</h2> <p>For more information, visit:</p> <ul><li> <a href="http://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/">Understanding WCAG 2.0: A guide to understanding and implementing Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0</a> <a href="http://www.hhs.gov/Disclaimer.html"><img alt="Site exit disclaimer" src="/sites/default/files/images/0-external-disclaimer.jpg" style="width: 11px; height: 10px;" title="Site exit disclaimer" /></a></li> <li> <a href="http://www.w3.org/standards/webdesign/accessibility">W3C’s Accessibility section</a> <a href="http://www.hhs.gov/Disclaimer.html"><img alt="Site exit disclaimer" src="/sites/default/files/images/0-external-disclaimer.jpg" style="width: 11px; height: 10px;" title="Site exit disclaimer" /></a></li> <li> <em>Universal Design for Web Applications</em> by Wendy Chisholm &amp; Matt May</li> </ul><p>For those developing government websites, consult your agency about available guidelines, training and 508 testing for your site. In addition, visit:</p> <ul><li> <a href="http://www.section508.gov/">Section508.gov</a></li> <li> <a href="http://webaim.org/">WebAim.org</a> <a href="http://www.hhs.gov/Disclaimer.html"><img alt="Site exit disclaimer" src="/sites/default/files/images/0-external-disclaimer.jpg" style="width: 11px; height: 10px;" title="Site exit disclaimer" /></a></li> <li> <a href="http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/guide/act.htm">Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act full text</a></li> <li> <a href="http://www.firstgov.gov/webcontent/reqs_bestpractices/laws_regs/accessibility.shtml">Access for People with Disabilities</a></li> <li> <a href="http://www.hhs.gov/web/508/index.html">HHS Digital Communications Division’s Section 508 Resources</a></li> </ul><p> </p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-include-voc field-type-list-boolean field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Yes</div></div></div> Mon, 07 Oct 2013 15:39:33 +0000 kmesa 2851 at http://www.usability.gov http://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/accessibility.html#comments Getting the Guidelines Up-to-Date http://www.usability.gov/get-involved/blog/2013/08/getting-the-guidelines-up-to-date.html <div class="field field-name-field-blog-post-date field-type-datetime field-label-inline clearfix"><div class="field-label">Post Date:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><span class="date-display-single" property="dc:date" datatype="xsd:dateTime" content="2013-08-05T11:00:00-04:00">Monday, August 5, 2013 - 11:00</span></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>Many of you have asked if we are planning to update the <a href="http://guidelines.usability.gov/"><em>Research-Based Web Design and Usability Guidelines</em></a>. The answer is: Yes! We see the Guidelines as an important part of the <a href="http://www.usability.gov/get-involved/blog/2013/welcome-to-relaunched-site.html">reboot of our Usability.gov Program</a> and now we know that many of you agree.</p> <p>To kick this off, we recently presented an Idea Market at <a href="http://www.uxpa2013.org/guidelines_messner">UXPA International</a> <a href="http://www.hhs.gov/Disclaimer.html"><img alt="Site Exit Dislaimer" src="/sites/default/files/images/0-external-disclaimer.jpg" style="width: 11px; height: 10px;" title="Site Exit Dislaimer" /></a> in Washington DC. During the event we learned how and why people use the Guidelines and gathered recommendations on how we might improve them moving forward.</p> <p><img alt="Photo of Research-based Web Design &amp; Usability Guidelines, Usagami handout, and UXPA international badge" src="/sites/default/files/images/UXPA-Idea-Market-blog-fullsize-blog-520x390.jpg" title="Photo of Research-based Web Design &amp; Usability Guidelines, Usagami handout, and UXPA international badge" /></p> <h2> Goals of the Guidelines</h2> <p>First published in 2004, updated in 2006, and put into a database for easier access in 2012, there are 209 guidelines. The original focus was to address common questions that arise when creating or maintaining a website. Experts from across government, the private sector, and the academic community reviewed and contributed to them. Each guideline has a relative importance rating, strength of evidence rating, and lists supporting references.</p> <p>At UXPA International, many of you told us how and why you use the Guidelines. We learned that in general, you use them:</p> <ul><li> To review new content or sites</li> <li> As a point of reference with clients to discuss requests that they may have</li> <li> To help build the case for design decisions or recommendations you are making</li> <li> With students learning about website development</li> </ul><h2> Improving and Building Upon the Guidelines</h2> <p>To revise the current guidelines, first we will need to review each entry and determine whether it need to be retained as is, or whether it needs to be updated or removed. Next, we will need to identify and validate new and relevant topics to cover. But then the question becomes:</p> <p><strong>How do we validate new guidelines or make updates to existing guidelines in a way that keeps them authoritative?</strong></p> <p>We posed this question in our presentation at UXPA international and got some helpful feedback and suggestions:</p> <ul><li> <strong>Determine whether to focus on principles, implementation, or both:</strong> Both are important but principles live a little longer and are not as contextual.</li> <li> <strong>Remember that research still rules when creating a guideline but it is okay to start with evidence</strong>: Although it’s important to stay authoritative but it’s also important to stay up-to-date with advances in methodologies and technology. We need to have a process that allows us to be efficient. Many agreed that starting with evidence and adding research as it becomes available is okay.</li> <li> <strong>Update the content and add more guidelines:</strong> Participants suggested updating guidelines about typography, accessibility, and use of multimedia. They also suggested adding guidelines related to mobile, motion-based/ gestural interaction, eye tracking, tile design, and cross-channel optimization, among others.</li> <li> <strong>Be transparent about evaluating each guideline:</strong> There needs to be transparent criteria for evaluating each guideline and a way for users of the Guidelines to see where a guideline is at in the process (emerging/ proposed, evidence-based, research-based, peer-reviewed).</li> <li> <strong>Make sure that the strength of evidence and citations are still noted for each:</strong> Based on how they are used (noted above), strength of evidence and any references are still important to note for each guideline.</li> <li> <strong>Think about how to crowd source some of ideas and drafting of content:</strong> Leveraging a forum environment, is one way the community might submit ideas for topics to cover and others can provide feedback on those ideas and/ or vote up or vote down to help us prioritize them, make the process faster, and get a larger group of people engaged. If done, we’d need to think about how the content provided is then validated and approved.</li> <li> <strong>Consider additional formats: </strong>A colleague from NIH noted that he and his team have turned the Guidelines in an assessment kit. They turned each guideline into yes or no questions for easier evaluation.</li> </ul><p>This feedback is helping us work toward identifying our process for the 2013 edition of the Guidelines – but we would like to hear from you. Do you agree with the feedback and suggestions we have received so far? Have we missed anything? Please let us know how you would like to see this process take shape.</p> <p> </p> </div></div></div> Mon, 05 Aug 2013 15:24:25 +0000 mmiller 2045 at http://www.usability.gov http://www.usability.gov/get-involved/blog/2013/08/getting-the-guidelines-up-to-date.html#comments A New Purpose; A New Design: Welcome to the Usability.gov Re-boot http://www.usability.gov/get-involved/blog/2013/07/welcome-to-relaunched-site.html <div class="field field-name-field-blog-post-date field-type-datetime field-label-inline clearfix"><div class="field-label">Post Date:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><span class="date-display-single" property="dc:date" datatype="xsd:dateTime" content="2013-07-10T15:45:00-04:00">Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 15:45</span></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>Usability.gov’s re-boot not only has a pioneering new design; it also reflects our new expanded purpose.  Our goal is to reintroduce the site as a leading resource for user experience (UX) best practices. We’ve worked to add more content and content categories based on what you’ve told us you need.  We also set out to make it a place for active conversation, a place to share ideas and resources, so we’ve provided information about opportunities for you to get involved with the site and other programs moving forward.</p> <p>We note the growing role UX plays in social media and on the mobile platform. We used our re-boot as an opportunity to explore mobile-first design, going beyond responsive design to designing first for touch and swipe and then reverse engineering for the more traditional click and scroll.  Every aspect of the evolving design was lab tested, and we thank the many people who volunteered to test for us.</p> <p align="center"><img alt="Usability.gov in its responsive states" src="/sites/default/files/images/usabilitygov-responsive-design-full.jpg" title="Usability.gov in its responsive states" /></p> <h2> How We got Here</h2> <p>When we began planning improvements to the site in November 2012, we chose to follow the <a href="/node/1586">user-centered design strategy</a> outlined on the site.  To do this, we identified:</p> <ul><li> Who our users are and their experience levels</li> <li> What information they need, their goals, and their tasks</li> <li> What devices they use to access this information and the functions they expect</li> </ul><p>Our research connected us with UX professionals and digital communicators throughout government and in the private sector.  Our findings helped us to develop a new information architecture, create and refine content, and experiment and update the design’s look and feel.</p> <p align="center"><img alt="word cloud of ux methods: wireframes, metrics/ analytics, design, focus groups, user interviews, personas, task analysis, card sorts, heuristic evaluation, user feedback survey, social media plan, scenarios, and market research" src="/sites/default/files/images/blog-wordcloud.JPG" style="width: 498px; height: 200px; " title="word cloud of ux methods: wireframes, metrics/ analytics, design, focus groups, user interviews, personas, task analysis, card sorts, heuristic evaluation, user feedback survey, social media plan, scenarios, and market research" /></p> <h2> We’re Focused on Your Needs</h2> <p>The site is focused on what you need to create usable digital content.  Since we encourage a holistic approach to building a user-centered website, you will not only find usability evaluation and user research methods and resources, you will also find information related to content strategy, information architecture, user interface design, interaction design, visual design, project management, accessibility, and analytics. The site provides:</p> <ul><li> <a href="/what-and-why/index.html">Overviews of each area of UX</a> and the <a href="/node/1604">value of a user-centered  design</a></li> <li> Information on <a href="/how-to-and-tools/index.html">how and when to use various techniques and tools</a></li> <li> <a href="/how-to-and-tools/resources/templates.html">Templates and downloadable documents</a> that you can adapt to fit your project’s needs</li> <li> Guidance and <a href="/how-to-and-tools/index.html">government-specific information</a></li> <li> A <a href="/what-and-why/glossary/index.html">glossary</a> of over 300 UX terms</li> <li> Lists of <a href="/how-to-and-tools/resources/multimedia-and-trainings.html">trainings</a>, <a href="/how-to-and-tools/resources/publications.html">publications</a>, and other resources for new or experienced UX professional to learn more</li> </ul><h2> A More Dynamic and Responsive Interface</h2> <p>The site, built in Drupal, the site is designed on a mobile-first model.  We started with designs for a smartphone screen, and then moved up and out in size to be responsive.  We envisioned a site that would invite interaction, and anticipate what you are looking for. </p> <p>It features:</p> <ul><li> <strong>A tile design</strong> that make the interface more interactive.</li> <li> A <strong>dock</strong> that stays on the left of your screen to help you navigate to those high valued pieces of content from anywhere.</li> <li> Content that has been <strong>tagged</strong>, allowing us to show you related content and resources for each page.</li> <li> <strong>Page-level surveys</strong> for you to provide feedback on whether content was helpful and how we might improve.</li> <li> <a href="/survey/feedback/index.html"><strong>Site-level survey</strong></a> to gauge the overall experience on the site.</li> <li> A <strong>responsive design</strong> that offers a positive and consistent user experience regardless of the device used to access the site.</li> </ul><p align="center"><img alt="Prototypes of a mobile website" src="/sites/default/files/images/prototyping-520x390.jpg" title="Prototypes of a mobile website" /></p> <h2> Building a Community</h2> <p>Going forward, we plan to grow with and for the UX community.  We are interested in hearing and learning from you.</p> <ul><li> <strong>Guest blog</strong>: contributors from the public and private sectors can <a href="/node/1571">submit a blog</a> for consideration.  We will give attribution to those we accept. </li> <li> <strong>Connect with us on Twitter</strong> <a href="http://www.twitter.com/usabilitygov">@UsabilityGov</a> <a href="http://www.hhs.gov/Disclaimer.html"><img alt="Site exit disclaimer" src="/sites/default/files/images/0-external-disclaimer.jpg" style="width: 11px; height: 10px;" title="Site exit disclaimer" /></a>: by answering questions from users, sharing our site’s content, content in the field, events we’re presenting at, and asking for suggestions on content and ways we can improve</li> <li> <strong>Receive email updates </strong>on recent content and upcoming opportunities.</li> <li> <strong>Working with the UX Community of Practice, <a href="/how-to-and-tools/guidance/gsa-first-fridays-program.html">GSA’s First Friday’s Program</a> and others</strong> to expand our library of  resources and content</li> <li> <strong>Donate content</strong> that you think would be beneficial to others.</li> </ul><h2> What to Expect Next</h2> <p>The work continues after today.  Following launch we will be:</p> <ul><li> Presenting and exhibiting at <a href="http://www.uxpa2013.org/guidelines_messner"><strong>UXPA International</strong></a> <a href="http://www.hhs.gov/Disclaimer.html"><img alt="Site exit disclaimer" src="/sites/default/files/images/0-external-disclaimer.jpg" style="width: 11px; height: 10px;" title="Site exit disclaimer" /></a> in Washington DC in July 2013.  Stop by and tell us what you think and what you’d like to see moving forward.</li> <li> Starting the process of <strong>updating the <a href="http://guidelines.usability.gov">Research-Based Web Design &amp; Usability Guidelines</a></strong>.  We will be kicking this off at UXPA International Conference 2013 in Washington DC. </li> <li> <strong>Recruiting an Intern</strong> for Fall 2013 to help write and research new content and create training videos and materials.</li> <li> <strong>Reaching out to area universities</strong> post-launch for research submissions.</li> <li> Launching a <strong>Feedback Survey</strong> on the new site to see what you think.</li> </ul><p>Finally, expect on-going change.  Our site, like our work, is dynamic.  We look to your active participation and collaboration.  So now it’s your turn; have we succeeded in building the site you wanted or needed? What have we missed?  Please let us know.</p> <p> </p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-home-page-billboard field-type-image field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Home Page Billboard:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://www.usability.gov/sites/default/files/usability_gov-responsive-design-billboard.jpg" alt="A New Purpose; A New Design: Welcome to the Usability.gov Re-boot" title="A New Purpose; A New Design: Welcome to the Usability.gov Re-boot" /></div></div></div> Tue, 09 Jul 2013 20:37:56 +0000 kmesa 1785 at http://www.usability.gov http://www.usability.gov/get-involved/blog/2013/07/welcome-to-relaunched-site.html#comments Creating Wireframes http://www.usability.gov/how-to-and-tools/resources/templates/creating-wireframes.html <div class="field field-name-field-file-type field-type-list-text field-label-above"><div class="field-label">File Type:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">PDF</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-file-size field-type-text field-label-above"><div class="field-label">File Size:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">1MB</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-file-attachment field-type-file field-label-above"><div class="field-label">File Attachment:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><span class="file"><img class="file-icon" alt="" title="application/pdf" src="/modules/file/icons/application-pdf.png" /> <a href="http://www.usability.gov/sites/default/files/creating-wireframes.pdf" type="application/pdf; length=1069943">creating-wireframes.pdf</a></span></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>This document provides a description and examples of both Design and Functional wireframes.</p> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-organization field-type-text field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Organization:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Usability.gov</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-discipline-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Discipline Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/accessibility" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Accessibility</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/interaction-design" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Interaction Design</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/usability-evaluation" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Usability Evaluation</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/user-interface-design" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">User Interface Design</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/user-research" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">User Research</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/visual-design" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Visual Design</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/web-analytics" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Web Analytics</a></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-site-wide-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Site-wide Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/tags/accessibility/" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Accessibility</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/tags/interaction-design" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Interaction Design</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/tags/redesign" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Redesign</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/tags/scenarios" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Scenarios</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/tags/testing" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Testing</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/tags/usability-evaluation" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Usability Evaluation</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/tags/use-cases" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Use Cases</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/tags/user-interface-design" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">User Interface Design</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/tags/user-research" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">User Research</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/tags/user-centered-design-process" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">User-centered Design Process</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/tags/visual-design" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Visual Design</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/tags/web-analytics" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Web Analytics</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/tags/wireframes" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Wireframes</a></div></div></div> Fri, 14 Jun 2013 17:14:44 +0000 kmesa 1596 at http://www.usability.gov http://www.usability.gov/how-to-and-tools/resources/templates/creating-wireframes.html#comments Section 508 [see also 508] http://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/glossary/section-508-see-also-508.html <div class="field field-name-field-definition field-type-text field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Definition:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. To learn more go to 508.gov.</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-discipline-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Discipline Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/accessibility" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Accessibility</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/interaction-design" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Interaction Design</a></div></div></div> Fri, 07 Jun 2013 18:20:09 +0000 lknox 1516 at http://www.usability.gov http://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/glossary/section-508-see-also-508.html#comments Accessibility http://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/glossary/accessibility.html <div class="field field-name-field-definition field-type-text field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Definition:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">The measure of a web page&#039;s usability by persons with one or more disabilities.</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-discipline-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Discipline Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/accessibility" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Accessibility</a></div></div></div> Fri, 07 Jun 2013 18:14:27 +0000 lknox 1513 at http://www.usability.gov http://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/glossary/accessibility.html#comments Alternative Text http://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/glossary/alternative-text.html <div class="field field-name-field-definition field-type-text field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Definition:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Short text used described images---usually 125 characters or less.</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-discipline-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Discipline Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/accessibility" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Accessibility</a></div></div></div> Fri, 07 Jun 2013 18:08:31 +0000 lknox 1507 at http://www.usability.gov http://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/glossary/alternative-text.html#comments Assistive technologies http://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/glossary/assistive-technologies.html <div class="field field-name-field-definition field-type-text field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Definition:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Technologies (software or hardware) that increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities when interacting with computers or computer-based systems.</div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-discipline-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Discipline Tags:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/accessibility" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Accessibility</a></div></div></div> Fri, 07 Jun 2013 18:00:39 +0000 lknox 1499 at http://www.usability.gov http://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/glossary/assistive-technologies.html#comments