David Fern runs the Federal Crowdsource Mobile Testing Program since May 2013. The Federal Testing program is a FREE service provided for federal agencies by federal employees. This program allows agencies to complete compatibility testing (determining how mobile websites display on the multiple makes and models of devices, operating systems, and mobile browsers), for mobile websites that agencies think are mobile-friendly. Nearly 40 percent of visitors access government websites on mobile devices and agencies are working to meet the mobile demand. The challenge this program solves is that agencies generally have 1 or 2 mobile devices on which to test their new mobile websites when there are hundreds of devices and operating systems from which the public accesses federal websites. David has ran 25 tests on agency websites including DHS.gov, HHS.gov, USA.gov and a few native apps like NOAA Crowdmag. David has researched automated testing tools and helped agencies make sure their websites are mobile-friendly from a development perspective. David’s real impact has been organizing more than 250 volunteers from across government to ensure that each client website has had a minimum of 15 devices to test their websites. In addition to corralling these testers, David has provided an in-depth report to each of these agencies that highlights problems that the agency can use to make their websites more mobile-friendly. As corny as it may sound, David is an innovator who helps government innovators innovate better. As the Connected Government Act recently demonstrated, agencies that are focusing on mobile are few and far between. David helps the ones who are ahead of the game, get better.
David has gone above and beyond the test cycles too. David has shared lessons learned from to testing program for all federal agencies to apply to their websites via DigitalGov.gov. He has recently been consulted to help develop a mobile standard for the Connected Government Act and has researched common mobile-friendliness issues across the top visited federal websites.
Please see these two testimonials on David Fern’s work. American Battle Monuments Commission on testing Normandy App: Your feedback and input was critical to our testing process. In fact, you’ll notice a big difference on the home screen that stemmed directly from your comments. Instead of the scrolling left to right navigation from the home screen, we redesigned the home screen so the five main subpages are all right there. TSA on testing TSA.gov responsive site: The entire process of the Federal Mobile Crowdsource Testing Program and test cycle was helpful and extremely valuable. The testers explaining the exact issues and the steps they took to get to that specific problem will help us redesign and update the site to best disseminate pertinent security information the traveling public.
David’s achievements help federal agencies maintain public trust. Research shows that if a website is not mobile-friendly, it will lose users. For federal websites, being mobile-friendly is a must. Every time a user has a bad experience with a government website, at best they will call that agencies contact center on the phone, which has a cost. Worse yet, visitors will go look for information on non-authoritative websites that seem to have official government information, but confuse and even mislead citizens. David’s impact across these 25 websites and native applications is immeasurable.
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