February 19, 2013 > Website redesign through crowd-sourcing
Website redesign through crowd-sourcing
Submitted By Michael Shank
Representative Michael Honda (CA-17) has launched an innovative project to further improve civic engagement with Congress. The Congressman is redesigning his website using a technique called Òcrowd-sourcingÓ to make his website more accessible his constituents.
Designers will mock up multiple images and formats for consideration by Rep. Honda on CrowdSpring.com. The final design will be chosen based on constituent votes, design functionality and office criteria regarding usability.
Rep. Honda has always been at the forefront of web trends. His current website was crowd-sourced - the first-ever use of the technique in Congress - using a similar method. His websites have been consistently recognized for their outstanding designs, having won four Gold and two Silver Mouse Awards by the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF). Rep. Honda is the only Member of the House of Representatives to be chosen for a website award from CMF each time it was awarded.
ÒOur first crowd-sourcing project,Ó said Rep. Honda Òushered in a new era of government transparency. Since then, many other entities within the federal government, and here in Congress, have followed suit with their own crowd-sourcing initiatives. This time, weÕre taking it a step further, involving constituents in the decision-making process about the exact features they want on the site. It is my hope that this initiative further democratizes the way we interact with the public, interfacing not only with our constituents but with the design community in general.Ó
The purpose of Rep. HondaÕs website redesign/crowd-sourcing is to continue his goal of ushering in Government 2.0, where new technology and new online participation enhance the publicÕs ability to access and provide advice to Members of Congress.
ÒCongress must take advantage of Web 2.0 technologies,Ó said Rep. Honda, Òto transform the relationship between citizens and government. Instead of viewing the public as a customer for services, I believe we should empower citizens to become our partners in shaping the future of our nation.Ó
As the Representative covering the heart of Silicon Valley, Rep. Honda has championed technological innovation for better citizen engagement, from acting as founding co-Chair of the Democratic Caucus New Media Working, which was designed to promote use of technology in Congress, to advocating access to bulk legislative data.