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    Subject Term: "Usability tests"

    2 publications with a total of 5 open recommendations
    Director: Mihm, J Christopher
    Phone: (202)512-3236

    3 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To enhance the value of Performance.gov for intended audiences and improve the ability to identify and prioritize potential improvements, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget--working with the Performance Improvement Council and the General Services Administration--should clarify the ways that intended audiences could use the information on the Performance.gov website to accomplish specific tasks and specify the design changes that would be required to facilitate that use.

    Agency: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget
    Status: Open

    Comments: OMB has taken some steps to address this recommendation, but additional actions are needed. The General Services Administration, on behalf of OMB, conducted usability testing on Performance.gov in September 2013. The test found that (1) sections of the website were not accessible; (2) users were unclear about the purpose of Performance.gov, its intended audiences, and what users can do on the website; (3) users had difficultly locating graphics and understanding if agencies had met their goals; and (4) the search functionality produced poor results and the search terms were not highlighted. This usability test produced several recommendations based on these findings. According to OMB and PIC staff in August 2015 and May 2016, they have taken some actions to address the recommendations. For example, staff addressed the accessibility issue and partly addressed the search issue. However, as of June 2017, OMB has not yet addressed the other two recommendations. Further, OMB and the PIC have not clarified the ways that intended audiences can use the information on the website to accomplish specific tasks, or specified design changes that would be required to facilitate that use, as we described in our report. We will continue to monitor progress.
    Recommendation: To enhance the value of Performance.gov for intended audiences and improve the ability to identify and prioritize potential improvements, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget--working with the Performance Improvement Council and the General Services Administration--should seek to more systematically collect information on the needs of a broader audience, including through the use of customer satisfaction surveys and other approaches recommended by HowTo.gov.

    Agency: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget
    Status: Open

    Comments: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Performance Improvement Council (PIC) systematically collect information on the needs of its users, by implementing a website survey, a feedback form on Performance.gov and a working group focused on improving the PREP system. Staff have set up a backlog system to prioritize, store and address user feedback. According to PIC staff, feedback is prioritized based on several factors, including the value it would bring to a larger audience, the cost and estimated time to implement, and the risk and opportunity cost of addressing the feedback. The highest priority items on the product backlog system are placed on the monthly prioritized list for the contractor to begin work on. However, as of June 2017, OMB and the PIC have not identified, engaged, or collected information on the needs of a broader audience, such as interested members of the public, and how those needs might be addressed through the website.
    Recommendation: To enhance the value of Performance.gov for intended audiences and improve the ability to identify and prioritize potential improvements, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget--working with the Performance Improvement Council and the General Services Administration--should seek to ensure that all performance, search, and customer satisfaction metrics, consistent with leading practices outlined in HowTo.gov, are tracked for the website, and, where appropriate, create goals for those metrics to help identify and prioritize potential improvements to Performance.gov.

    Agency: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of June 2017, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Performance Improvement Council (PIC) monitor 18 of the 24 recommended performance metrics. PIC staff said that they now track the performance measures through the Digital Analytics Program, which does not track the remaining 6 measures. OMB and PIC staff have not created goals for the measures they track to help identify and prioritize potential improvements to Performance.gov. We will continue to monitor progress
    Director: Cackley, Alicia P
    Phone: (202) 512-8678

    2 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To improve the awareness, use, and usefulness of SaferProducts.gov, the CPSC should establish and incorporate metrics to assess efforts to increase awareness and use of SaferProducts.gov.

    Agency: Consumer Product Safety Commission
    Status: Open

    Comments: The Commission states that it measures overall awareness of SaferProducts.gov in a manner similar to the manner in which it measures the awareness of CPSC.gov: by the number of visits to the website. The Commission states that website visits is a reasonable proxy measure of overall awareness that is cost-effective to collect. According to the Commission, in fiscal year 2014, SaferProducts.gov had 2.4 million visits and 863,000 visitors, where visits are the number of sessions the site was hit and visitors are the count of unique IP addresses who came to the site. The Commission had previously indicated that it planned to include three questions on SaferProducts.gov in a National Awareness Survey designed to determine overall awareness of CPSC on a national level. While the Commission administered the survey, it did not include questions related to SaferProducts.gov. As of March 2017, the Commission has not taken specific steps to measure the overall awareness of SaferProducts.gov.
    Recommendation: To improve the awareness, use, and usefulness of SaferProducts.gov, the CPSC should implement cost-effective usability improvements to SaferProducts.gov, taking into account the results of any existing usability testing or any new testing CPSC may choose to conduct.

    Agency: Consumer Product Safety Commission
    Status: Open

    Comments: The Commission had begun making usability improvements to SaferProducts.gov by improving the search functionality and improving the user experience of submitting incident reports. The Commission planned to include a tagline to its website to increase users' understanding of the site's purpose--either "Report. Search. Protect." or "Report. Search. Be Empowered." by March 2017. However, as of April 2017, SaferProducts.gov does not include a tagline. The Commission also has not made any other website improvements in this regard, nor have staff undertaken user experience studies to assess users' understanding of the site.