The Speed Of Federal Government When It Runs On Github

I’m coordinating with the development team for Developer.Trade.Gov today, providing them with a review of their new developer area, and some suggestions on how to make their APIs, and developer more usable.

The Developer.Trade.Gov is published as a Github repository, using Jekyll and Github Pages to actually deliver the website. The feedback I’ve been giving to the team, has been done through the Github issue management for the repository.

One piece of feedback I left was:

I love that when I land on your home page, I get a brief description of what delivers, the probem is that the description is below the fold on some monitors, leaving just the 3 links available to see.

I'd switch the description and links, putting description at the top....and the first thing your eyes are drawn to. You'd be surprised how valuable this can be. Simple, but important.

I submitted the suggestion 5 hours ago, and I just received an update that the issue was closed, and my suggestions were incorporated. When you go to the Developer.Trade.Gov website now, you will see the text, with links to the right—creating a much more clean, informative, and usable way to deliver the most valuable real estate you have in your developer hub. It was a small, but quick and meaningful change to a government website.

Imagine if we could help other agencies see the benefit of publishing small, simple websites, developer hubs, single page apps, and other projects to Github, and manage their feedback loops via Github issues. What types of improvements in delivering government services would we see? What cost savings could be realized across government?