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The President’s Management Agenda: 4 Experts Share 4 Tips to Prepare Your Agency Website

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Nationwide, agencies are eagerly awaiting the new President’s Management Agenda (PMA). Like its predecessors, President Biden’s PMA will list activities and initiatives aimed at improving government effectiveness and efficiency for the American people.

But, until the White House releases the updated PMA, agencies can only guess how it will impact their digital products, services, and websites. Although the new PMA is expected in April, four thought leaders discussed how agencies can start preparing ahead of the PMA and serve their constituents better now during GovLoop’s latest online training. You can watch the full presentation below:

Tina Pemberton, Digital Platform Leader at Federal Student Aid (FSA) and Tait Chamberlain, FSA’s Lead User Experience (UX) Designer, represented the public sector.

Our very own Mike Steckel, UX Director at Mighty Citizen and Stephen Tidmore, Mighty Citizen’s Vice President of Technology, appeared on the private sector’s behalf.

Here are four tips the speakers shared for elevating your agency website’s UX before President Biden’s PMA is released:

1. Leverage analytics

Analytics systematically discover, interpret, and share patterns in data. According to Chamberlain, analytics can help agencies determine how their websites can serve users better.

“Analytics are also the voice of the user,” he said. “It is incredibly valuable to see where users are clicking. They will tell you if they are avoiding certain links or products.”

You can use analytics to determine which pages on your website your users engage with the most. Then, when it’s time to start making updates for PMA compliance, you can prioritize those pages in the first phase.

They don’t come to our website for the joy of looking at federal websites.”

2. Facilitate users’ goals

Pemberton recommended agencies focus on what their users want to accomplish when interacting with their digital offerings. At FSA, the focus is on providing financial aid to students.

“They don’t come to our website for the joy of looking at federal websites,” she said of FSA’s users. “They’re coming to our websites to complete a task. How do we cut through confusion and clutter?”

Once you have an idea of what your visitors are using your website for the most, user testing can help you focus on making the completion of those tasks as painless as possible. If your visitors are most often completing a form for assistance, how quickly and painlessly can you get them through that form?

3. Prioritize performance

According to Tidmore, agencies need digital services that work across multiple platforms. Whether they prefer laptops, smartphones, tablets, or other devices, all users want content they can access quickly and easily.

“Performance is important for your website,” he said. “You need to make sure it is responsive across all screen sizes.”

Download Mighty Citizen’s free Government Agency Website Performance Guide to see how your website holds up.

4. Design with a purpose

According to Steckel, agencies will collect better metrics about their digital offerings if they design each of them for one purpose. In other words, anything public-facing that you create should have a clear, single purpose. That way, the metrics are as straightforward as possible.

Take websites that register citizens for COVID-19 vaccinations, for example. Pages like these should not distract users with other options that are unrelated to coronavirus vaccines.

“It’s about one action you want the user to take on that page,” Steckel said. “It lets you look at those metrics and see if users are taking that action.”

Download the white paper

We’ve developed this guide to help government agencies of all sizes prepare for the new PMA whether they choose to go it alone or partner with an agency like Mighty Citizen. This guide will help you:

  • Audit and Review your current website for any updates needed.
  • Create and Revise your most trafficked pages to meet the PMA requirements.
  • Publish and Track your changes to your website to remain in compliance.

The time is now

Chamberlain also suggested there is no time like the present for prioritizing UX. Rather than wait for the PMA’s release, he urged agencies to make user outreach part of their operations today.

“Make talking to users a regular experience,” Chamberlain said. “If there’s something you want to do when it is a fire drill, do it when it is not a fire drill.”

A version of this article was originally published by GovLoop.

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