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In light of OPM guidance and increasing concerns about COVID-19 (coronavirus), we are suspending accepting training requests.

Do your research

In order to write for your users, you need to know who they are! Here are some general tips to help you identify your users.

Learn about your users

  • Listen to user questions. What do people ask when they email you or contact your office?
  • Talk to users and ask them what they need and want.
  • Analyze your web metrics to figure out what people are looking for on your website:

    • What pages do people visit most?
    • Where do people spend the most time?
    • What are the top search phrases that people use?

There are many techniques to help you learn about your users. For more details and best practices, visit usability.gov.

Identify their top tasks

Understanding what users are trying to do when visiting your website or reading your communications will help you write clearly and focus on their needs.

Think about how well your communications support people in getting things done. People come to government websites and services with a specific task in mind. If your content doesn’t help them complete that task, they’ll get frustrated and potentially leave.

You need to identify the purpose of your website to help clarify the top tasks it should help people accomplish.