Friday, September 02, 2011

How TSA has bulked up its app with crowdsourcing

The headline on this article from NextGov is Agency apps must be regularly updated or face obsolescence, but the really interesting thing to me is the detail on how the TSA has used crowdsourcing to bulk up its app:

The My TSA app pulls together Federal Aviation Administration data about flight delays and crowd sourced data about how long it's taking app users to get through security checkpoints at specific airports.

The app also includes a list of more than 3,000 items fliers can and cannot carry onto their flights or put in checked baggage. That list started at about 900 items but grew rapidly as travelers used a response feature on the app to ask TSA about unlisted items.

Similar direct user feedback and computer analysis of how travelers are using the app has helped TSA to home in on precisely what their app audience wants, Bonner said.

"At a minimum, you should provide some opportunity for users to provide feedback," he said. "Maybe there's a function you think will be a real knockout feature, but if you have a feedback mechanism, you may find out people don't understand it or aren't using it."

Worth considering for those in the newsbiz considering apps.

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At 9/16/11, 11:11 PM, Blogger Jenn said...

Not that I really have a right to point fingers at another writer's work while I know full well that my own is in need of some fine-tuning, but I think the word "home" in the third paragraph should be "hone"...

At 9/17/11, 12:51 AM, Blogger Doug said...

No, "home in," not "hone in," is the correct idiom.

Hone means to sharpen, but the idiomatic expression comes from the homing pigeon, which was able to "home in" on its destination.


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