David Weinberger has been making notes:
Bev Godwin, Dir, FirstGov.gov talks about "Government of the Future: 7 Predictions." (She’s speaking
for herself, not FirstGov.)
[Note: As always, I’m paraphrasing. I am sure to get some of what she says wrong.]
Her assumptions: By 2015 [the year the conference is about] people will never not be on the Internet, and access will be provided by the government.
In 2000, there were at least 24,000 federal web sites. There are now at least 40M documents. There are way too many sites. Many are out of date. Her mantra to her group: "Let’s manage the content we have."
If you type "mold" into the FirstGov site, you get 127,322 hits. (There are 3,541 active top level.gov domains. 1,476 are federal. 1,811 are state, county or city. 81 are sovereign nations.)
Prediction #1: There will be dramatically fewer government Web sites and pages.
Prediction #2: The design debate will be over. They’ll all be arranged basically the way newspaper front pages are: Title at the top, color image to direct the eye to the lead story, etc.
Prediction #3: US gov’t sites will have a common look and feel. She points to .gov sites that are wildly different in their format. She believes they all should look basically the same, using usability-tested layout. [Usable but boring.] They can vary in details but have the same navigation bar in the same place, the country logo in the same spot, etc.
Prediction #4: No gov’t Web site will be launched without usability testing.
Prediction #5: "The .gov naming convention will actually make sense to the public." There will be a taxonomy that’s rational.
Prediction #6: "The public will be able to perform the tasks they want on gov’t websites." Gov’t should think of it as a retailer of services, not a wholesaler.
Prediction #7: Content will be aggregated to serve the public. It will be intelligent about your interests and needs: It’s time to renew your driver’s license, here’s the contact info about your elected officials, here’s your tax refund status, how long until you can collect social security, etc.