The DOBT Blog

The Department of Better Technology is dedicated to making great software that helps governments and non-profits better serve their communities.

Our new style guide

Style guides and pattern libraries are infrastructure for interaction design. They allow experienced designers to work faster, maintain consistency with their colleagues, and communicate more effectively to developers. Non-designers can also use them to prototype products with less guidance. Last week, we released a brand new version of our pattern library, alongside a style guide and visual redesign.

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What's new for Screendoor project reviewers

Teams in government and nonprofit organizations who use Screendoor for innovation challenges often call upon subject matter experts (SMEs) to help them identify the most promising entries. These collaborators are invited precisely for their domain knowledge, not their dexterity with software. They’re most likely pressed for time. Instead of learning the ins and outs of Screendoor, they should be able to review responses right away.

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How to brainstorm effectively, whether you're inspired or not

When you’re under deadline, it’s tempting to decide you don’t have time for creative thinking. But the alternative, choosing what you perceive to be the most “obvious” solution to a problem, can be incredibly damaging. The first few ideas you can think of are merely the most convenient and obvious. They’re not the best.

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Three more form design tips

This is the second installment of “Build Better Forms,” a series in which we review online government forms and suggest some improvements.

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Project management tools and creative thinking

Here’s something I’ve been mulling over the past few weeks.

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