Category: Guides

What is plain language (and why you need to use it)

Plain language helps you convey complex information. Your readers understand and get what they need quickly, with fewer questions and less confusion. As a government, using plain language will help you improve your services, forms, and public information. Benefits of plain language: Helps people know what information means the first time they read it. Makes … Continued

What is digital accessibility (and why it matters)

Why digital accessibility matters 1 in 4 Americans are living with some type of disability. 4.6% are blind or have serious difficulty seeing. 5.9% are deaf or have serious difficulty hearing. 10.3% are living with a cognitive disability like dyslexia, attention deficit, or autism. About 1 in 12 men are colorblind. It’s the law. Section … Continued

3 easy ways to get feedback on your government website

When you make a new website, it’s important to get feedback on it to make sure it works for people. Getting feedback on your website should be part of your government customer service strategy. If you don’t have the time or budget to do extensive user research, here are 3 easy ways to get feedback … Continued

Understand department priorities to support customer service

When you work with departments on a new website, it’s helpful to begin by learning about their priorities. Once you understand them, you can work on ways to make their key services easy to find. This will help you develop a government content strategy. Each department has its own mission and operational goals. Depending on … Continued

What is a team agreement (and why you need one)

A team agreement is a shared set of norms and expectations that define how team members will interact. Sometimes they are referred to as working agreements. They create a foundation for: Trust Accountability Collaboration Why team agreements matter Team agreements pave the way for a productive and effective work environment. They provide a framework for … Continued

Set guiding principles

This is a chapter from Proudly Serving, contributed by Laine Hendricks and Rebecca Woodbury Overview Guiding principles help organizations align their values to their digital goals. They serve as an aspirational North Star to help teams make design and content decisions. Guiding principles enable collaboration and consistency so digital products achieve better outcomes and build … Continued

Part two: a practitioner’s guide to community engagement

How to create sustainable and effective community engagement for your government agency Written in collaboration with CitizenLab, part two of this series explores defining engagement and designing a sustainable and effective engagement strategy for your government agency. It covers the tactics you need to design a long-term engagement plan by defining the different types of … Continued

How to share updates (and why they increase public trust)

A new website project ends with a launch, but your website is never done. When you get feedback, you should report out about what you did. An easy way to do this is a regular update with a list of things you’ve done and things you are doing to improve the site. Sharing updates increases public … Continued

Part one: a practitioner’s guide to community engagement

How to create sustainable and effective community engagement for your government agency Written in collaboration with CitizenLab, part one of this series explores the steps you need to take to create a sustainable and effective community engagement strategy for your government agency. In this guide you’ll find: Tips to better understand your community and your … Continued

How to empower the local government product owner

Purpose The purpose of an empowered government product owner is to make sure that a government service or program is effective and meets people’s needs. “There must be a single product owner who has the authority and responsibility to assign tasks and work elements; make business, product, and technical decisions; and be accountable for the … Continued

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