Monday, June 22, 2009

Government 2.0 Taskforce

The Australian Government announced a Government 2.0 Taskforce this morning. Here are some initial comments on the task force web site.

Time frame: The task force has until 31 December 2009, which is reasonable. They are going to "think aloud" on their blog.

Members: The 15 Members of the task force show a good balance of interests: Dr Nicholas Gruen (Chair), Ms Ann Steward (Deputy Chair), Mr Glenn Archer, Mr Sebastian Chan, Mr Adrian Cunningham, Prof Brian Fitzgerald, Ms Mia Garlick, Mr Peter Harper, Ms Lisa Harvey, Mr Martin Hoffman, Ms Pip Marlow, Mr Alan Noble, Dr Ian Reinecke, Mr David Solomon and Mr Martin Stewart-Weeks.

Web site: The task force has a blog style web site. This could so with a little more formal structure, saying what the task force is and what it will do when, in a succinct way. At present there are a lot of words on the web site, but it is hard to find the essentials.

Domain name:
The task force web address is: http://gov2.net.au/

It may be that a government domain (.gov.au) was not used, so as to stress the independence of the task force from government. However, .org.au might have been more appropriate.

Logo: Usually I would be criticising the logo and banner for the site. In this case the logo is just a place marker, with a Banner Competition.

Markup: The web site is using XHTML 1.0 Transitional, but has two validation errors reported by the W3C Markup Validation Service. These errors are minor, but should be fixed.

Disabed Accessibility: The task force home page had 16 problems reported with a TAW automated accessibility test. using the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. The task force needs to ensure they include the whole community, including those with a disability, in their discussions.

Mobile Accessibility: While compatibility with mobile phones is not essential for web pages, it is a good way to encourage clear, succinct design. I was unable to run the W3C mobileOK Checker on the site. However, Net Mechanic reported the home page was 24 kbytes with 2 kbytes of images. This is a reasonable size for use on a mobile device. The web page displayed well using Opera in small screen mode. However, the embedded video delayed complete display of the page. This should be removed from home page.

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