Website Design Services for Government Agencies and Nonprofit Organizations

Website design has evolved into a sophisticated art form backed by data-driven science.  The graphical skills and thinking that used to work for static prints, flyers, and advertisements are simply inadequate for interactive user interfaces (UI) performed on a variety of device types, sizes, browsers, and connection speeds.

To provide effective user experiences (UX), particularly for government agencies and nonprofit organizations, interactive designers need to consider the following:

  • Web visitor segmentation
  • User centered design (UCD)
  • User stories and use cases
  • Responsive design
  • Usability
  • Accessibility (Section 508)
  • Cross-browser compatibility
  • Speed and performance
  • Privacy protection
  • Security
  • Design standards

The United States Digital Service (USDS) agency, a branch of the White House created in the aftermath of the Healthcare.gov launch failure, developed an methodology for designing and engineering effective web experiences. They call it the USDS Playbook:

  1. Understand what people need | #UCD
  2. Address the whole experience from start to finish | #userresearch
  3. Make it simple and intuitive | #usability
  4. Build the service using agile and iterative practices | #agile
  5. Assign one leader and hold that person accountable | #CSM
  6. Bring in experienced teams | #veterans
  7. Choose a modern technology stack | #LAMP
  8. Deploy in a flexible hosting environment | #cloud
  9. Automate testing and deployments | #TDDQA
  10. Manage security and privacy through reusable processes | #cybersec
  11. Use data to drive decisions | #decisionscience
  12. Default to open | #opensource

GSA’s 18F, another leading edge organization within the United States government, has put out a set of methods to help interactive design agencies focus on the needs of the users and stakeholders.  These methods include:

  • Stakeholder interviews – build consensus about the problems and issues
  • Journey mapping – visualization of interactions shaping a user’s experience
  • Personas – User profile that seeks to generalize behavior, goals, and challenges
  • Storyboarding – visual sequence of a specific use case coupled with a narrative
  • Task flow analysis – process model of a user striving to accomplish a task
  • User scenarios – conceptual story about a user’s interaction (what, how, why)
  • Wire framing – simple visualization of a user interface or user experience
  • Card sorting – categorization exercise to divide concepts into different groups

If you are looking for help designing an effective user experience for your organization, please give us a call, perhaps we can help.