I came across this great video by the State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP).
The video demonstrates a vision for connecting people with applications and using these “to communicate, educate, and engage–beyond the gates of every embassy on the planet.”
I like the way they detailed out specific use cases for the apps, where “Applications can be anything from trivia to media kits, visa procedures and event management to English language tutorials.”
The video describes how everyone from a consular officer to a public affairs specialist and a college student to a journalist can take advantage of these.
I can see that one of the principles behind Apps@State is to maximize the sharing and re-use of content through an apps catalogue and the ability to customize the apps to local and individual needs.
The mobile and webs apps content will be made available through SMS, smartphones, and social networks.
This framework for a cloud computing platform can bring efficiency and effectiveness to foreign service officers and audiences world-wide that depend on and can benefit from these programs.
This is very much user-centric design in action, and I believe very much on target with the “25 Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal IT Management.”
Other agencies are also developing significant apps catalogues, such as GSA with the Apps.Gov website, which now has more than fifty free social media applications for federal agencies in everything from analytics and search to blogs, contests, document sharing, video and photo sharing, idea generation, social media, wikis, and more.
Perhaps it is not too early to say that the Federal government is on a roll and that it will only get better with time.
(Note: All opinions my own)