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Non-profit seeks your input on Seattle.gov

August 18th, 2010 by Athima Chansanchai

If you’re one of our readers, chances are you’re fairly adept at getting around the Internet, and have at least probably dabbled in finding information through government web sites, especially Seattle.gov.

Knowledge as Power (KAP), a non-profit based in Seattle with a primary objective to empower politically engaged citizens, is running a Usability Study on Seattle.gov that wants to see how easy (or hard) that site is for people to navigate and to find the information they need/want. And they’ll give you $20 in Tippr credit.

KAP founder and executive director Sarah Schacht explains on her blog:

When I was approached by the Mayor’s office in March for ideas on open gov work that could be implemented across Seattle’s services, the first thing I pointed out was that our city, like many others, doesn’t really know what residents want from their government in terms of openness and online services. It would be important to do a usability study, and use the results to guide future redesigns’ prioritization. Problem was, there’s no money for that kind of work, especially in governments that are slashing staff and announcing doomsday budgets. So, I put my bargain-hunting to work, again, to help fuel the usability study.

So for less than $250 in KAP funds, this study will give Seattle’s Department of Information Technology (DoIT) and Mayor McGinn’s office a roadmap for improving Seattle.gov, based on the feedback of about 50 Seattle residents who will sit down for an hour (if you’re chosen after doing a short online survey). Let KAP tell you more:

Essentially we are looking for participants like you to sit in a room and let us takes notes as you browse for information on Seattle.gov. It’s as easy as that, and in return we will give you $20 in Tippr credit. (Tippr.com is a local Seattle company similar to Groupon, LivingSocial, etc. Your $20 credit gets you $40-$60 worth of Seattle goods.)

Right now we are looking for two specific groups of people:

1) People who use or have used Seattle.gov for a business purpose (e.g. perhaps you’re a startup and you have to use the website to find and apply for permits) and

2) Ordinary Citzens! We’re looking for people of every level computer competency to come in and test the website.

Come help your city — or at least its web site — work better. Fill out the short application page here.

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