USA.gov redesign offers lessons in website revisions

The upcoming changes reflect website analytics data, call center data, and qualitative data coming directly from users. Image: dencg/Shutterstock.com

A post on performance.gov says an ongoing redesign of USA.gov has lessons that agencies can apply to overhaul their own websites to improve the customer experience.

He says beta versions of the revised site and its companion site in Spanish will be released soon, with changes to both content and supporting technology that reflect website analytics, call center data and qualitative data directly from users. For example, one change will be to make the links to take action more visible and recognizable.

He cites “lessons learned that could benefit other agencies interested in adopting a similar approach” as (in his own words):

* “Use both qualitative and quantitative analysis: Qualitative and quantitative data have much more power when combined than when used separately. Combining information from both types of data allows for a deeper understanding of the user needs as well as better tracking of how user needs change over time.”

* “Plan for continuous discovery and delivery: Rather than viewing web redesign as a ‘one and done’ activity, USAGov leaders noted the need to constantly keep the pulse of their users’ needs and to adjust web content and functionality accordingly. For example, executives discussed highlighting tax content during tax season, where user data showed that site visitors were primarily looking for production information and tracking their tax returns.

* “Integrate content, UX and technical design: Integrating and empowering technologists, UX researchers and content strategists has enabled the USAGov team to be agile and make rapid changes in an ever-changing environment.”

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Daniel L. Vasquez