Federal Statistics

I have a good buddy who works for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington. One of his jobs is to make federal web sites more "usable" -- he's a research psychologist who presumably understands how to communicate complex information. He sent me this note way back in the spring of 1998.


I was involved in doing usability testing of a "One Stop Shopping" for the main federal statistics Web site that just went public a couple of weeks ago. We're getting user feedback, and some of it is hilarious. But this comment from one gal in Medicine Hat, Canada, took the prize for me. She said:

Although I found this page interesting, it wasn't really what I was expecting, it is just really a regurgitation of statistics. But I suppose I can't expect a ton of information from a government page. Also, the statistics that I looked at only applied to Americans, I am Canadian. This was probably the most disappointing thing on this page.

So let me get this straight: A Web site that advertises itself as a source of United States Federal statistics is disappointing because (a) it only delivers statistics -- not "information" -- and (b) it's restricted to the U.S.

Wellll, excuuuuse us for living, Ms. Medicine Hat!!

Posted July 21, 2005

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