Government Websites & Usability

Usability Matters Most for Government

  1. You provide services and information that people rely upon. Government websites have a responsibility to be accurate and effective.
  2. Government websites are like a monopoly. People have to go through your site to get permits, pay taxes, or access government services. If a commercial website is not user-friendly, the customer simply goes somewhere else to buy.
  3. Save taxpayer money. Answer people’s questions before they call or come in. Collect payments more efficiently. Accept applications electronically.
  4. Maintain your investment. You’ve spent taxpayer money to update and improve your site. Make sure the public continues to get its money’s worth by maintaining content, and testing and improving usability.
  5. Increase compliance with rules and regulations by producing information that is easily understood and acted upon.
  6. Encourage public involvement. Meetings, minutes, surveys, social media discussions– you’ll get more input and engagement when people can find and easily read your information online.
  7. Accessible design. Deliver information that can be accessed by a variety of technologies (phone, tablet, desktop), in many settings (loud, bright, distracting), by all citizens (seniors, people with disabilities using assistive technology).
  8. The federal government does it (or at least tries to). Federal agencies are mandated to improve usability by the Plain Writing Act, the E-Government Act, Section 508 standards that ensure access and inclusion for people with disabilities, and other policies.

More Support for Government Usability