GSA establishes team to improve Web site design

ORLANDO, Fla.'The General Services Administration has kicked off a usability training project to improve government Web design practices.

The agency formed the Usability Solutions Group in the Office of Governmentwide Policy, said Rosemary A. Gibert, a member of the new office, which has three staff members but will expand to 10 employees and add contract staff.

The goal is to make federal sites more useful for disabled people and the general public, said Gibert, who is so new to her post that she doesn't have a title yet.

'The usability training will cover content, privacy policy and accessibility,' she said late last month at the Information Processing Interagency Conference. 'We believe we can train several hundred people each year.'

The group held its first training session last month, covering methods of evaluating Web sites for compliance with Section 508, Gibert said.

The new group's director is Janice Nall, a former Web leader for the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute. In her GSA job, she is broadening the application of usability evaluation tools developed for the cancer institute, Gibert said.

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