7 books for better digital government

7 books for better digital government
Photo: Luke Fretwell

Continuing on my book cleaning spree, I wanted to highlight a few web product design and development books I’m getting rid of that are helpful for anyone focused on providing government digital services. Share your suggestions on our Facebook page.

Civic User Testing Group Book
Daniel X. O’Neil
This small (free) book from Smart Chicago Collaborative’s Daniel X. O’Neil highlights how government and civic groups can implement user testing into their projects. OpenOakland has re-purposed this in the work they’re are doing.

Mobile First
Luke Wroblewski
Gone are the days of a separate mobile-friendly or app version of your website. If you’re not familiar with why this is important and/or how to start thinking about mobile-centered government digital products, this is the book that will get you up to speed.

Responsive Web Design
Ethan Marcotte
Marcotte is the godfather of responsive web design, which is the foundational principle of mobile-friendly design. Great introduction into what RWD is and how to get started. Perfect companion to “Mobile First.”

Product Design for the Web: Principles of Designing and Releasing Web Products
Randy J. Hunt
Comprehensive overview of how to execute web product delivery. Great resource for getting all aspects of the development team (including the C-suite) on the same page.

Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience
Jeff Gothelf, Josh Seiden
As development becomes more agile, so has prototyping the experience. This helps get designers in a frame of mind they may not be accustomed to, but once applied, will make them more integral and excited about applying design principles in today’s development environment.

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products
Nir Eyal
For those building web products, Eyal walks the reader through the four phases of “The Hook Model” (Trigger, Action, Variable Reward, Investment) and how to create products that become “habit for good.” While this may not apply to a large number of government-focused services, the methodology is extremely helpful and provides a design mindset important to all projects

Design for Hackers: Reverse Engineering Beauty
David Kadavy
More granular and geared towards developers who can (and should) bake in great design practices even at the prototyping phase.

What design/development books do you recommend for building better digital government services? Share on our Facebook page.

About Luke Fretwell

Luke Fretwell is the founder of GovFresh, co-founder/CEO of ProudCity and co-host of the podcast, The Government We Need. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn or email at luke@govfresh.com.


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