I was fortunate to attend the summit at the Ronald Reagan Building and Trade Center . This annual Summit, a full day of educational presentations, case studies and panels to help people who manage websites and emerging digital channels in government and non-profit organizations. The amazing speakers (the best of all Todd Park, Chief Technology Officer, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) presented and discussed their strategies for collecting data and acting on citizen and constituent feedback to further organizational goals, and meet administrative initiatives. This was a free event, limited to government and nonprofit employees, or contractors working directly on government or nonprofit websites.
The most important message that all the speakers agreed on was that today’s citizens are multi-channel users, which means that the government will have to utilize these channels to reach as many citizens as possible. Another message that I will take to heart was said by Larry Fred, President and CEO, ForeSee Results: You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Numbers are important. They show you were you succeed and deliver great service, and they point out areas where your web site or service needs improvement.
We also learned about how web sites should be designed to provide the most usability, as well as great navigation and content. My favorite part was to learn about “screen real estate”, white noise on web sites, links, contrast, etc.
On my way home I went through my notes and was happy with what I got out of the summit. Oh, and plenty of good food was included, too!