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Rewiring Government

The Department of Better Technology helps governments deliver great digital services to the people who depend on them.

Posts tagged with “Screendoor”

Upgrade your forms with repeating groups

Today we’re adding repeating groups, one of our most requested form features, to Screendoor.

Some forms might ask respondents to fill out the same fields more than once. If you’re building a job application, you might ask for the names of a few references, along with the contact information for each. And if you’re hosting a business registration form, you might ask a few questions about each business partner involved.

For example, here’s an excerpt from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’s Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status:

Repeating groups make it super easy for admins to ask for this kind of information. Once you create a group, you can add as many fields to it as you’d like.

Repeating groups also make it a lot easier for respondents to fill out your form. Since each group only needs to show up once, your respondents will spend a lot less time scrolling through unnecessary duplicate fields.

Like everything in Screendoor, repeating groups really shine when it’s time to analyze and collaborate around responses. Screendoor knows that every answer to a field in a repeating group is related, so we’ve made it easy to search inside their answers and view those answers right inside the responses dashboard.

If you’re creating a new project, you can get started with repeating groups right now. Just drag a repeating group into your form and start adding fields to it.

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Spotlight: The best journalism in 2017 (so far)

In a time of falling trust, the best newsrooms are focusing on audience engagement, listening to readers, and finding stories that resonate widely.

We’re proud to have award-winning newsrooms on our platform, and we’d love to share a few of their projects with you.

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Winter 2017 Roundup: The best innovation projects

We love to brag about our customers, especially when they’re using Screendoor to tackle important problems and advance their organizations with innovative ideas.

Bureaucracy and innovation can seem mutually exclusive, but our customers are proving that they’re not resistant to change—in fact, they’re actively seeking it.

The projects below are a sampling of their best ideas, including accelerators and innovation challenges. If you’re looking for inspiration, you’re in the right place.

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Your innovation challenge needs an intake and evaluation solution

Managing an innovation challenge is hard.

You’re juggling confused applicants, a slew of expert reviewers, and endless email threads, all while trying to identify the best possible submissions to your challenge. (You know, the ones that are going to change the world!)

Of course, you’re great at this, but wouldn’t you like to breathe a little easier during application and selection season? If so, you need an intake and evaluation system that will take care of the little things so that you can focus on your program.

Sound useful? Read on.

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Announcing Screendoor for Government

Today, we’re excited to unveil the new Screendoor for Government!

Yes, we’ve always served government, but with Screendoor for Government, we’re doubling down on our commitment to the groups that Screendoor was created to serve—cities, states, and federal agencies.

This means outlining our vision for modern and sustainable digital services, which you can see reflected in the newly designed product page and in our recently published white paper, A Vision for Paperless Government.

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New Screendoor Feature: Say hello (or hola) to multi language forms

Today, we’re excited to officially unveil a tool we’ve had in beta for a while: multi language forms!

Great government digital services are easily accessible by default, and one big component of accessibility is ensuring users can access content in their primary language. As part of our work with the Government of Switzerland, we developed a simple way to translate your Screendoor forms into Spanish, French, Italian, or German.

Usually, we launch a feature with a simple blog post and a walkthrough, but we’d also like to let you see how one of our customers put it to use.

Want to learn how the Los Angeles Times used a translated Screendoor form to crowdsource stories for one of the coolest pieces of journalism this year? Read on for the details, along with a walkthrough video so that you can start translating your own forms today.

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Screendoor Update: Send a response to external collaborators

We think about forms all the time, since they’re what Screendoor is built upon.

Forms are the lifeblood of nearly every bureaucratic process because they make it easier to capture the correct information in the correct format, and then distribute that information to all interested parties. Often, these interested parties are from multiple offices, agencies, programs, and departments, which can make communication difficult and tedious.

We make it easy for Screendoor users to collect, review, and approve responses. But to date, it’s been harder to collaborate with colleagues who aren’t using Screendoor. Sure, you could send them an exported PDF or an Excel workbook, but those require an extra step and an extra email. That’s not exactly aligned with the goal of simplifying and automating business processes.

So, after tons of feedback from current and prospective customers, we’re working on some Screendoor updates to make it easier to make the move from your paper or PDF-based business process to an online workflow.

Our first update is a way to make working with your forms, both online and offline, a bit easier. Plus, we’ve given our PDF exports a little facelift.

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Collecting Net Promoter Score using Screendoor

We love the concept of dogfooding at DOBT. Even though we’re not a government agency, we’re always on the lookout for new opportunities to use Screendoor for ourselves. So, when our Customer Success team mentioned that they were looking at different tools to conduct a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey with our users, we immediately thought, “Hey, we can build that with Screendoor!”

We’re pretty excited about how easy Screendoor makes this process, so we’ve decided to share our strategy (and our own Screendoor-NPS repository) with all of you. Feel free to try it out and let us know what you think.

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Designing a better authentication system for Screendoor respondents

Last month, we rethought the way that respondents to our customers’ hosted forms authenticate themselves. Previously, we required respondents to create an account, which adds unnecessary friction. We redesigned the system to deliver all of the benefits of account creation with none of the downsides, taking cues from the “passwordless authentication” movement.

We wanted to give you a look into the problems we identified with our old system, the design process we used to iterate upon user flows, and how we migrated to the new system with minimal impact to our users.

But, first, if you want to try out the new system, check out one of our sample forms to see it in action.

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Screendoor (finally) gets a "trash" for responses

Today we shipped a major feature to Screendoor. All projects now have a “trash can” where you can send deleted responses.

Screenshot of Screendoor's trash

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Adding a new type of form field in Screendoor

Besides seeking feedback from our users, we keep a close eye on the forms they publish. Seeing all these great forms really helps us guide Screendoor’s product direction.

Here’s one example we wanted to share. Over the past few months, we’ve seen several users create form fields like these, asking respondents to agree to certain conditions before they continue:

checkbox field as a confirmation

Screendoor’s form builder lets users add checkbox fields, but they aren’t designed for a single option with a blank label. That’s why the asterisk indicating a required field appears in the screenshot above. We considered changing the behavior of checkbox fields to remove the stray asterisk. But ultimately, we decided to create a new type of field, one that would more clearly fit a user’s mental model of providing confirmation.

So, that’s all to say that we shipped a new field type today: “Confirm.” It looks like this:

confirmation field

Screendoor users can now take advantage of this new field type to create better-looking, more semantic forms that are easier to understand. And we’ll continue looking for ways to make our customers’ forms even better.

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A whole slew of Screendoor updates

We’ve been quiet for the past month or two! Here’s a peek of what we’ve been up to:

Improved message presets :love_letter:

screenshot of message presets

We’ve re-worked the user flow for sending messages. Not only can you now add a name to your message presets to make them easier to identify, you can also tweak their contents before sending them. This should be a great time-saver!

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Scheduling appointments with Screendoor

This week I heard from a government official whose department plans to host office hours to stay in touch with the public. He had looked at various software tools for scheduling these meetings, but nothing offered both the power and simplicity he needed. He wanted his staff to be able to manage meeting requests and quickly send meeting details to attendees. Above all, the tool needed to be accessible to the public, especially people with limited connectivity or technology skills.

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Join the CPNN community call featuring ProPublica and Screendoor

It’s an exciting time if you’re in charge of community engagement in a newsroom. Technology has made it easier to ask readers to contribute to your reporting. But with all the new tools and platforms out there, you might be wondering: what’s the best way to get started?

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Building a nomination form with Screendoor

Recently, a client asked us how to build a “nomination form” inside of Screendoor. In this instance, the client was running a fellowship program and wanted to allow members of the public to nominate potential fellows. Nominees would receive an email informing them that they had been nominated, and asking them if they would like to apply.

We responded, detailing how this could easily be built by using our integration with Zapier. We liked this solution so much that we decided to share it with you, too.

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Crowdsourcing the news with Screendoor

The Tow Center for Digital Journalism recently published “A How-To Guide to Crowdsourcing,” featuring a case study of ProPublica’s groundbreaking strategies for targeted outreach. The report describes how the news organization uses Screendoor to solicit personal stories that become the foundation for many of its investigations.

In the process of collecting and analyzing thousands of personal contributions, unexpected stories emerge. This was the case with ProPublica’s Reliving Agent Orange investigation:

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Introducing Shortcuts for workflow automation

Behind every form is a unique workflow process. While some forms require a single approval, others go through multiple rounds of sign-offs. The greater the number of manual tasks involved, the greater the chance of human error.

Automating the steps in your workflow can reduce misunderstanding among your team, prevent responses from slipping through the cracks, and enable you to close the loop with both colleagues and respondents. Plus, it’ll save time spent carrying out tasks one by one.

Today we’re introducing Shortcuts, a new feature that brings workflow automation to Screendoor.

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How ProPublica uncovers stories with Screendoor

If you want to find a community of engaged readers, look no further than ProPublica. The independent, nonprofit newsroom routinely asks the public to help with ongoing investigations.

Together with the Virginian-Pilot, ProPublica reporters are exploring the effects of Agent Orange exposure on Vietnam veterans and their children. They’re using Screendoor to collect stories from both those who served in Vietnam and their family members.

Photo of Marines in Vietnam c. 1967

“Members of 1st Recon, Vietnam, ca. 1967” by Michael R. Travis is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

It’s been 40 years since the fall of Saigon, but veterans and their families continue to reckon with the legacy of the Vietnam War. We’re proud that Screendoor has played a role in helping nearly 3,000 veterans tell their stories.

Read the first article to come out of this investigation. And if you’re a journalist who wants to learn how Screendoor can help you crowdsource your reporting, write us at hello@dobt.co.

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Designing Forms.fm

A few weeks ago, we launched a brand new design for our Screendoor forms and project pages. In this post, we’ll walk you through our design process.

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Introducing Forms.fm

A forms.fm page.

We just released an update that makes your Screendoor forms better than ever. Here’s how.

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Webinar: Find your next hire with Screendoor

Want to learn how Screendoor can help you make your next great hire?

You’re in luck. In our upcoming webinar, DOBT Co-founder and Chairman Clay Johnson will share how he and the other directors of the Chattahoochee Hills Charter School used Screendoor to hire the school’s new principal.

Wednesday, August 19th at 10am PDT/1pm EDT

In this webinar, you’ll learn how to…

  • Screen applicants quickly
  • Schedule multiple interviews without going crazy
  • Evaluate top candidates fairly
  • Keep your hiring committee on task
  • Respond—with data!—when candidates ask why they didn’t make the cut

Plus, if you already use Screendoor, you’ll pick up a bunch of tips to help you manage responses more efficiently.

Space is limited, so click here to reserve your spot soon!

Can’t make it? We’ll miss you, but sign up and we’ll send you a recording once it’s ready.

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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.

To shorten the learning curve, we made some changes to the first-run experience for reviewers:

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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.

As we discussed in our first post, a clear and intuitive form reaps many benefits:

  • lower data processing costs,
  • fewer support requests,
  • higher completion rates,
  • and greater citizen satisfaction.

Let’s run through three more ways you can improve your form:

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Goodbye, FormsCentral. Hello, Screendoor.

Adobe will retire FormsCentral in late July. If your agency or government has relied on FormsCentral to build and publish web forms and fillable PDF forms, what should you do?

Give your citizens a break

Filling out a form is a tedious yet necessary task, one from which few are exempt. The easier it is for your citizens to fill out a form, the quicker they can get on with their day.

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Powering better fellowship programs — Join us for a demo

Are you part of a team in charge of a fellowship program? If so, you are doing important work, connecting agencies and organizations to the talent they need and providing unique opportunities for service.

But you’re also likely to spend a lot of time sifting through an enormous number of applications, delegating application review to colleagues, and communicating with potential fellows.

We’re here to help! Screendoor is a web-based tool that allows you to publish a beautiful and intuitive application form and stay on top of submissions without having to pass around messy spreadsheets or email attachments.

To see Screendoor in action, check out the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Research and Innovation Fellowships catalog.

Then join us for a 30-minute demo and Q&A every Wednesday in May and June at 1PM EST / 10AM PST. Sign up here!

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Three ways your form confuses your users—and how you can fix them

Filling out a form is hardly a pleasant experience, but a clear and simple form can go a long way in easing the pain. Everyone wins: respondents complete it without any issues, and you, in turn, avoid chasing down missing data from incomplete forms. You get exactly the information you need.

We’ve helped our customers improve their forms in Screendoor, and we’re ready to share what we’ve learned. Inspired by the “teardowns” on User Onboarding, we plan to regularly suggest improvements to government forms we find online.

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Get a live demo of Screendoor for hiring and fellowships

If you’ve ever sat on a hiring or fellowship selection committee, you know how difficult it can be to identify top candidates. Keeping track of application materials. Delegating application review to your colleagues. Taking note, at each round, of which candidates have made the cut.

Hiring and fellowship selection with Screendoor can bring order to chaos. Take it from our following customers who use Screendoor exclusively for this purpose:

This Wednesday, join DOBT CEO Joshua Goldstein for a live demo of Screendoor. You’ll learn how we can help you and your colleagues work together to find your dream candidate from a pool of applications.

It’s free. And it’s only 30 minutes, including time for questions at the end.

So if you have 30 minutes to spare on Wednesday, May 13th at 10am PST (1pm EST), head over to http://join.me/departmentofbetter.

See you there!

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Streamlining the Production of Open Data

When I worked at the World Bank, I spent a lot of time helping government agencies harness data to improve delivery of the public services that matter most to citizens. Our clients wanted to access streams of insight to improve decision-making and performance. Around this time, open data portals like Socrata and CKAN were starting to mature, and business dashboards like Geckoboard and Ducksboard were coming onto the market. While the data publication tools had never been better, the data production workflow was slow and inefficient, a cumbersome process that involved messy spreadsheets, Google Docs and manually uploaded .csv files. The open data production process was, and still is, a major barrier to the creation of timely, granular and actionable data.

typical performance dashboard

Today we’re pleased to unveil Open Data Sync, a new Screendoor feature that bridges the gap between data production and data publication. With Socrata Sync, senior managers in government can collect, approve and evaluate data from project teams and sync it to their Socrata Open Data Portal—automatically.

Performance measurement and evaluation is one area where Socrata Sync provides a solution. Chief data officers (CDOs) can work with department heads to define performance indicators in Screendoor and distribute a link to a page where frontline teams can enumerate their progress at regular intervals. Once the data has been collected, CDOs and department heads can review and discuss submissions directly in Screendoor. Upon their approval, the data is instantly pushed to the Open Data Portal. Equipped with up-to-date and widely available data, senior staff can more easily advocate for process change. This is only one use case for Socrata Sync: stay tuned for additional benefits of improving the data production process with Screendoor.

We’re excited to offer Screendoor as a cornerstone element of the data production workflow, replacing brittle spreadsheets and outdated database management systems. Our new feature reduces human or machine errors common in data collection. It also lessens the work required to maintain dashboards for end users. Furthermore, we know the data production process is never static, so we’ve ensured that Screendoor can adapt to a wide array of scenarios, such as new performance indicators, new team members and process changes.

We would love to hear what you think! Send us a message at @dobtco or sign up to create your first Screendoor project.

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Introducing teams on Screendoor


If you use Screendoor to evaluate job applications, bids, or FOIA requests, chances are it’s a collaborative affair. Most of our customers have multiple people reviewing every submission they receive, each with a different type of expertise. Some of our larger customers, who need to evaluate a deluge of responses within a short timeframe, are delegating dozens of people from different parts of the organization to help tackle the workload.

When you’re dealing with that many people, delegating work efficiently becomes very tough to manage! Today we’re introducing project teams, the first in a series of improvements that will make it easier to help your entire organization take advantage of Screendoor. Here’s how it works.

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Cut down your backlog of public records requests & achieve greater transparency

In recent years, we’ve seen tools like MuckRock, FOIA Machine, and Alaveteli improve how journalists and citizens ask for public records and share what they find. But on the other side of the request is you, the government employee tasked with processing and replying. Requests and follow-up inquiries pile up in your inbox, waiting to be logged into a database management system that is slow and out-of-date.

There’s a better way. Screendoor enables you to collect and process public records requests more efficiently, with less stress and greater transparency. Our software has been battle-tested on the front lines at every level of government: USAID, Colorado Secretary of State, the City of Oakland, and the City of San Francisco all use Screendoor to manage information collection workflows.

Backlog, be gone

Screendoor comes with a full suite of features to streamline your records request process:

Stay on top of all incoming requests.


Set up statuses to keep track of a request through each stage of your workflow.


Add labels to categorize requests and further ensure nothing slips through the cracks.

Manage and delegate requests.


Assign a colleague to review a request. Discuss related tasks with @mentions and notifications.

Keep your citizens informed…


…with an email acknowledging the request.

notify status

…with a notification email, sent each time the status of a request changes.

socrata sync

…with an archive of requests published in your open data portal.

Let the light in

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) laws are hallmark efforts to create a more transparent, open government—one accountable to all its citizens. Our co-founder and chairman Clay Johnson serves on the Federal FOIA Advisory Committee, so we’re committed to the success of these laws. We recognize, too, that this success depends on proper implementation and oversight.

In the face of budget constraints, compliance at every level of government remains underfunded. Screendoor provides a low-cost avenue for agencies and offices to fulfill public records requests with greater transparency.

We encourage you to see for yourself! You don’t have to upend your current process for managing requests before trying Screendoor. Contact us to request a free trial and pilot a new workflow within your agency or office, risk-free, or learn more on our website.

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New Screendoor Feature: Activity Feed!

We just launched one of our most requested features, the ability to see an “activity feed” of a response inside of your Screendoor project. Here’s what it looks like:

screendoor activity feed ​ This feature makes Screendoor an even better way for you and your colleagues to collaborate and make decisions with ease. It works with your existing projects, so sign in and take a look!

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Sharing and Previewing Screendoor Project Templates

As we mentioned last week, increased user efficiency is one benefit we track when we measure the return on investment in Screendoor. Our software saves you time, so you and your collaborators can focus on managing submissions and making decisions swiftly.

Among the many Screendoor features that serve this goal is the project template. We think you’ll find our drag-and-drop form builder and project wizard simple to use, but you shouldn’t need to build a project from scratch if another Screendoor user has created a similar one before.

Instead, create a project with a template—either from our template library or the list of templates in your Screendoor account. This allows you to reuse configuration settings and form components from an existing or archived project. As for the settings and fields you don’t want to reuse, you can delete or edit them in the project wizard easily.

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Measuring Screendoor's ROI for Government Agencies

One of the great challenges of working in government today is the sheer inadequacy of the tools available to achieve an ambitious and ever growing set of policy challenges. At DOBT, we spend a lot of time thinking about to solve this problem, and how we can continue to measure and improve the return on investment (ROI) we deliver to project teams working to serve their constituents.

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Screendoor feature updates

Another week, another round of awesome features being shipped in Screendoor. Here’s what we’ve been working on:

Organization-level permissions for projects


You can now assign project collaborators on a per-organization basis, which should be a great time-saver!

Email address in unsubmitted response details


We added the respondent’s email address to the unsubmitted responses page, so you can follow-up with anyone who hasn’t completed your form.

Show read/unread status on responses page


Now it’s easier than ever to track if a response is read or unread.

Better notification emails


We now send notification emails with the “from name” set to the triggering user, so it’s less likely that your coworkers will pass over them.

Still haven’t given Screendoor a try? Sign up for our free trial here: go.dobt.co/screendoortrial

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Why our free trials no longer have an expiration date

If you’re familiar with the Department of Better Technology, you know that something that sets us apart from other government-focused technology firms is that we build hosted platforms. That means there’s nothing to install, and that setting up a new agency or organization takes minutes, not days. This allows us to offer a completely free trial of our applications – something we think is a necessity when selling software. We want our customers to buy Screendoor because they’ve used and loved it, not because they looked at a carefully-crafted marketing page, or a salesperson promised it would change their life.

For the past year, these free trials would last for seven days. Enough time, we thought, for a potential user to set up a form in Screendoor, collect some responses, and show their colleagues what it can do. Even though this length of time is often seen in the startup world, we have realized that in our line of work, it is nowhere near enough time to really evaluate a product. Today we’re announcing that starting now, Screendoor (and our other apps) will come with a free trial that never expires.

Why the change? We want potential customers to be able to use Screendoor for a real-world project, and we realize that in government, these projects don’t always happen overnight. We’re well aware of how long the government purchasing process can take, and we don’t want to be in the position of restricting an agency’s access to our software just because we’re waiting for the puchasing department to deal with payment.

Our hope is with these extended free trials, we’ll be able to give a lot more folks a chance to really see how Screendoor can improve their agency’s communication, workflows, and efficiency. If you haven’t tried it yet, there’s no better time to sign up and see what it’s all about. If you already have an expired free trial, just get in touch and we’ll put you on our new “Free forever” plan.

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Announcing Payments for Screendoor

Have five minutes to spare? Here’s a quick screencast about payments, one of Screendoor’s new features that we’re most excited about:

Our integration with Stripe gives Screendoor users access to the best payments platform on the web. Want to give it a spin? Get in touch!

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Creating an Unbelievable Citizen Experience, Part 3: Many hands make awesome work

This post is the third in our “Creating an Unbelievable Citizen Experience” series, highlighting the features and benefits of our flagship product, Screendoor.

If you’ve been following along with this mini-series, you’ve heard our pitch over and over again: the most drastic way you can improve the citizen experience is by making the necessary interactions with government quicker and easier, and that Screendoor is designed to accomplish just that. But did you know that in addition to saving time for your citizens, Screendoor can also help you and your staff save time and money?

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Creating an Unbelievable Citizen Experience, Part 2: Pick the best in 5 minutes or less

This post is the second in our “Creating an Unbelievable Citizen Experience” series, highlighting the features and benefits of our flagship product, Screendoor.

We’re on a mission to drastically improve citizen experience, but we’re taking it on from behind the scenes, not in social networks or discussion forums. You can “engage your audience” all day long, but if basic functionality is still clunky and your employees are still spending valuable time on cumbersome tasks, your citizens will remain less than impressed. So last week we talked about getting your forms online quickly and easily, and now we’ll show you how Screendoor can help you spend time wisely by smart sorting and easily evaluating your responses.

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Creating an Unbelievable Citizen Experience, Part 1: The 15 Minute Form

This post is the first in our “Creating an Unbelievable Citizen Experience” series, highlighting the features and benefits of our flagship product, Screendoor.

When agencies consider ways to improve user experience for citizens, their thoughts often turn to public engagement in the form of social media and other outreach strategies. While admirable, these communication efforts fail to address the more basic, everyday interactions that citizens have with their governments. Things like applying for licenses, permits, or positions usually involve an unavoidable form.

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Screendoor New Features: Tables & Multi-Page Forms

We just shipped two new features in Screendoor, and we think they’re so awesome that we couldn’t wait to tell you about them.

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Screendoor New Features: Messages, Edits, and more!

We’ve been heads-down on our flagship product, Screendoor, our software that makes it easy for you to list projects online – like jobs, RFPs, and apps contests – and find the winning responses. You might think, from our recent blogposts, that all DOBT does is yammer on about procurement reform and build silly Hubot scripts. Not so! Let’s take a look at some of the great new features we’re rolling out in Screendoor.

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Screendoor new feature: Custom rating fields

Today we’re launching a new feature in Screendoor: custom review fields. We’ve had this one on our minds for a while, and we think that it will make Screendoor an even more effective tool for reviewing large numbers of applicants.

With all of our features we want to make sure that we keep Screendoor as simple as possible, so when adding customization to the application, we never want to create more work for you, our user. Here’s how it works:

When you create a project in screendoor, we create an overall rating field for you:

default rating fields

This should be enough for most use cases, but if you want to rank your responses on say, a combination of “skill”, “experience”, and “creativity”, it’s as easy as creating those three fields here:

custom rating fields page

This will let your reviews rank each response multiple times, and the system will automatically calculate the average rating across all fields and display it to you.

And that’s just one way to rank responses. You also have the option of reviewing by response field – so you can ask your reviewers to rate a specific section of a response, like so:

response field rating fields

Right now, you have the option between Stars, Red/Yellow/Green, a Number Range, and Free Response. Here’s what they look like, all in a row:

all fields

This should be a ton of help for anyone who is managing a ton of reviewers, or integrating Screendoor with an already-established review process. And it opens up all kinds of possiblities for new features – weighted review fields? Bid discounts for registered vendors? As always, drop us a note to let us know what you think!

Bringing Procurement Reform to Every City in America

Last month, the White House announced that our project, RFP-EZ, helped cut the costs of government IT projects by an average of 30%. Today, I’m excited to announce that we’re making that same technology to every city and state in America, regardless of the size of their budget or their IT department. We’re doing this by launching Screendoor.io, a software-as-a-service application modeled after RFP-EZ. This means:

  • You pay for a monthly subscription, with no initial upfront cost
  • You can try it out, without ever spending a dime
  • It never goes out of date, and new features are always being developed
  • There’s no server upkeep or other hidden costs
  • You can cancel your subscription and take your data at any time

By now you’ve probably heard about the fantastic results we saw during our pilot of RFP-EZ inside the federal government. Recently we’ve been talking to cities and encouraging them to try a similar pilot, but we realize that not every city has an RFP-EZ-sized budget available to them for procurement experimentation. By embracing a software-as-a-service platform, we’ve done something incredible: every single city, county, and state government is now able to run this pilot completely free of charge. We expect participating governments to see decreased cost, increased number of competitive bids received, and heightened engagement with small and local businesses. And if we don’t see this success? They won’t have spent a dime.

If a city has an engaged technology community and would rather own the application themselves, Procure.io will live on as a separate open-source project, available for cities and organizations that want to customize every aspect of the software.

Screendoor will be extremely affordable for cities that decide to continue using it – our plans start at just $29/month and scale with the size of your city and the number of procurements you’re running through the system. You can sign up starting today, and if you use the coupon code “SCREENDOORLAUNCH”, and your free trial will be upgraded from one project to ten.

And another note…

We’re happy to announce that we’re one of the 9 organizations that were selected to receive funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as part of the Open Gov Knight News Challege. It’s going to promote and extend our Procure.io platform, to support and scale Screendoor, and to build out an open library of RFPs and Statements of Work for anyone to use at any level of government.

We’re extremely excited to be able to empower new innovation in procurement, and we hope that we’ve given governments everything they need in order to make the leap. Stay tuned, and hopefully you’ll be hearing from us soon about how Screendoor has helped save taxpayer dollars, increase government transparency, and empower local businesses and communities.

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