Agencies must set service standards and use customer feedback to improve the customer experience. Agencies that provide significant services directly to the public are required to identify and survey their customers, establish service standards and track performance against those standards, and benchmark customer service performance against the best in business.
Ensure your website includes a search function, to help the public easily locate government information. Follow industry standard best practices to ensure your search function is as effective as possible. Write content in Plain Language, using the words of your customers, so they can easily find what they need when searching the web or your website
Be aware of and comply with all other existing laws and directives that address the need to protect the privacy of the American people when they interact with their government online
Consult your agency’s legal staff for guidance to ensure that your site does not advertise for, or provide preferential treatment to, private individuals, firms, or corporations. Follow the "rule of 3" - when linking to non-government information, show at least three similar examples, to avoid the appearance of endorsing a single source, service or product
Publish your policy describing how and why you link to other websites, including criteria or guidelines for how your agency selects links to non-federal websites;
Publish and follow a schedule for reviewing the appropriateness and relevancy of external links
Notify visitors when a link on your website will take them to a non-federal-government website, include a disclaimer about content and privacy policies; Refrain from disclaiming content when linking to other federal sites, since to the public, all agencies are part of “the government”
Comply with existing laws and regulations related to the management of public web records.
Create an inventory of content that targeted audiences need or want. Identify categories of information (e.g., press releases or publications), not specific documents. Post the inventory, priorities, and schedule for posting additional content on the website for comment.
Regularly delete or archive content that is obsolete and is not required by law or regulation.
Inform the public about your policies on digital rights, copyrights, trademarks, and patents. If your organization uses or duplicates private sector information, ensure that the property rights of the private sector source are adequately protected. (These protections apply to any material posted to federal public websites, such as documents, graphics, or audio files.)
Ensure that information collected from the public minimizes burden and maximizes public utility. Your agency must have OMB approval before collecting information from the public (surveys, forms, etc.), and you much include the OMB control number on the collection. Take advantage of OMB's Fast-Track PRA Review Process to help you collect information in a timely manner
Organizations are required to have security protocols in place to protect government information. Provide general information to the public about your security protocols to protect information on your website.
Your site must comply with section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001, Public Law 106-554, to ensure the information you present on your website is current, accurate and authoritative
Comply with the requirements of Executive Order 13166, “Improving Access to Services for People with Limited English Proficiency,” based on Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bans discrimination on the basis of national origin.
The Government Paperwork Elimination Act requires that, when practicable, federal organizations use electronic forms, electronic filing, and electronic signatures to conduct official business with the public, by 2003. Put as many of your services online as you can
Include the same types of “common content” found on most federal websites (such as contact information and basic information about your agency). Use terminology consistent with other agencies, and within your agency. Write content using the words of your customers.
Follow the “Research-based Web Design and Usability Guidelines” published by the Department of Health and Human Services
Do regular user testing on your site with real customers, to ensure they can easily and successfully complete their tasks. Design and develop your site for a broad range of visitors and browsers, including mobile devices and those with lower-end hardware and software capabilities
Implement a coherent information architecture (IA) and navigation scheme (including common labels), and use it consistently throughout your site
Collaborate both within your agency and across government to link to the official source for information. Avoid creating duplicate content - stay in your “content lane.”
Collaborate internally, to make sure all content across your site describes programs, etc. in the same way. Post “program descriptions” in one central place and link there, instead of reposting the same description in several places.
Consult with the Federal Web Managers Council before creating a new portal site.