Comment on web policy page at EPA.gov, and survey comments
I was reviewing web policies of gov domain sites, just to see whether there are any common standards. Your page at https://www.epa.gov/web-policies-and-procedures/resources-web-policies-and-procedures is rich in many materials. I hope to have time to look at many of them.
I am only writing for two reasons, first to thank the people who are doing that work. My thanks don’t mean anything, but that is the way I feel when I see that page.
Second is a small thing. The [ Intranet ] gray boxes are really hard to read. Gray on gray is hard for young people, impossible for tired or busy eyes. And, in the “EPA Web Governance” section you did not mark the individual items as you did elsewhere. I clicked on “National Content Manager” thinking EPA group had it own vision and understanding to share. But, then I realized it was an Intranet click meaning “Go to the National Content Manager”. At least I think that is what it means.
When the original Internet Foundation was cancelled, I took over the domain name, TheInternetFoundation.Org from Network Solutions (and the com and net) to try to fulfill the original intent. That was 23 years in July. It has been interesting, and getting moreso.
Richard K Collins, Director, The Internet Foundation
Your web policies and Internet best practices. How organized and supported. How integrated with all federal agencies, and how fit into the global Internet best practices and policies.
All of the above are affected by how well you share information on the EPA.gov site, how all the EPA contractors do as well. How well EPA represents the rest of the world. And interacts. A perfect EPA site, going to poor sites or disorganized ones is not a sustainable policy.
I found some of it, I just had limited time, and starting a survey of all the gov domain web policy pages. So I noted some unique things I hope to have time to read or follow up.
I came in from a search on Google. I use it often because it is uniform. In critical searches I compare what they give to what I find on the site. I usually check some basic things. The search was
site:gov “Web Policies”
site:epa.gov gives 1.91 Million entry points. That is (from the rest of the world) that many un-indexed and uncurated pages with respect to the outsite query.
site:epa.gov (“covid” OR “coronavirus” OR “corona virus”) gives 17,800 entry points. That is an Internet wide problem because your materials are not coordinated and easily identified and understood. And you have no means of coordinating across the whole Internet where there are 7.5 Billion (“covid” OR “coronavirus” OR “corona virus”) entry points and 4.8 Billion potential viewers.
Richard K Collins, Director, The Internet Foundation – always ask people who they are. Always offer to sent the comments by email with the questions. I made a copy, but content belongs to the author and you should email it.
Put a context icon in the upper left corner of every screen. You can use your logo. When the visitor hovers it, it expands to a hoverbox that can be resized, moved, minimized, and the location and layout of hoverboxes saved. The context icon “contains” the standard items – About, Contact, all the stuff you copy at the bottom of every page, that long list that takes up screen space, most of the header information. For new visitors, greet them warmly and share those wonderful images (I am looking at “Environmental Topics” and soul enriching picture of autumn leaves.) It will take some experimenting. But orient to putting the unique material on the screen in hoverboxes, and keep the stuff that is repeated or already seen, ready at hand on every page. It is a better balance between having Everything accessible on every page. For complex models and simulations and showing the whole environment to visitors, you need a wide range of visualizations, so better layouts and tools and share.