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Participation, Collaboration, and Transparency

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Public participation and collaboration are central to making the Digital Strategy work. At the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), they are central to our work to improve the organization and presentation of SAMHSA’s website.

As part of our initial efforts, SAMHSA has been using an online exercise (cardsorting) that allows anyone interested to provide input on how to better organize and categorize the information on the website. In just one week, more than a thousand people provided direct, concrete feedback about what works and what doesn’t on our site. The effort to improve the website has become a true collaboration between those managing the website and those who use it.

We believe that transparency has benefits for everyone. Stakeholders can see how information is collected and used and, with respect to the Federal Digital Strategy, transparency helps agencies learn from each other. The result is a win-win situation where the public gets a better product and agencies get faster and smarter.

With this in mind, we not only produced a short video to help explain the cardsorting exercise Exit Disclaimer, we have also posted the raw data for each of the key audiences that participated in the exercise. You can learn more about card sorting at Usability.gov.

To learn more about SAMHSA’s efforts to improve our website, visit the SAMHSA blog. Are there other tools and techniques we should consider? Are there other ways we could use card sorting? Drop a comment below and let us know!

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Submitted by Anonymous on
Better Vote Obama and Dem because Romney will dismantle this site and SAMHSA
Submitted by Anonymous on
I submitted a question about a drug bring used by kids in NYC called "bath salts". Obviously, I saw the dangers but did not have data to understand it. I wrote up SAHMSA inquiry line. I receive a very complete and extensive description, way more than expected. As a therapist working with kids, I now have substantial information that may help many kids, even save a life. Because it can't be detected in a blood test, ERs should be made more aware. I truly never expected an answer, especially this very extensive one. I want yi say thank you and encourage others to participate.
Submitted by Anonymous on
Great and needed some agency to promote interrelatedness among health care providers. The travesty of, especially mental health individuals, receiving less than complete services and seeing there is usually co-morbidity disorders, is hampered by insurance companies dictating what treatments can be administered.
Submitted by Anonymous on
The card sort approach is easy to follow and helps organize information logically. Having health care professionals involved helps prevent the tech speak that makes nothing logical or understandable!
Submitted by Anonymous on
Cardsorting is so old technique. Wake up and be more creative. You are following behind on new thinking in current digital DNA age.
Submitted by Anonymous on
Love the video, and the transparency into the data collected.
Submitted by Anonymous on
All this sounds just great, wonderful, pressing ever forward towards modern technology. Ah, yes your websites, your strategies, transparencies..all the while moving past the demographic that should truly count. The ten of thousands that are not so tech savvy don't have computer and some even if they had access wouldn't know where or how to begin. I work in healthcare I see it everyday, patients and their families caught up in the hustle and bustle of MODERN TECHNOLOGY, where patient care and customer service take a back seat to bureaucracy. Until healthcare providers get out of the offices and away from the computers, start getting out into the communities teaching and helping people manuver through the maze we call the healthcare system, start truly advocating for the people we serve, all your strategic plans, videos, and blogs don't amount to a hill of beans. "PEOPLE FIRST"