Modernizing the FCC. gov Website

In August, the FCC team began a six-month research and design project in order to dramatically improve the usability and functionality of FCC. gov and its subdomains. The outcome of these collaborative efforts resulted in an interactive prototype of the actual improved FCC. gov will look like, along with an outline of how website content will be organized and structured based on our own research findings.

Our Research

The focus of our research was to spot and understand what different FCC. gov visitors want from our website and the way to optimize the way they search, use, plus interact with the website. The first round of research began by analyzing web content and web analytics. This gave us a sense of the web pages most abundant in traffic and most commonly searched conditions by website users.

The second round of research involved several iterations of “card-sorting” along with internal and external audience groups. Card-sorting is really a method used in website design to help evaluate and determine the navigation plus information architecture of a site. The info architecture of a site represents the way content is structured and structured for users. Ultimately, card-sorting assisted us better understand how content should be organized on the site and gave us the foundation for the information architecture.

The third round of analysis was done in parallel. We conducted one-on-one user experience interviews along with various external stakeholders, documenting typical tasks and areas of concern with the present site. The interviews were priceless in helping us better understand present user behavior and needs.

Our Findings

Our collaborative stakeholder research revealed how we could improve the website’s information architecture to make articles easier to find. We learned normal website users do not come to FCC. gov to browse content; they want to have the information they are looking for quickly and as few clicks as possible. Our research also revealed:

  • Stakeholders preferred an obvious separation of consumer- vs . practitioner-focused content. Practitioners use the website day-to-day and prefer “cut and dry” information. General consumers prefer educational content on a broad range of topics.
  • Stakeholders preferred for content to end up being organized and categorized based on the FCC’s day-to-day work, with specific plus comprehensive navigation titles.
  • Stakeholders favored that the FCC. gov homepage prioritize important content for practitioners, along with guide consumers to their dedicated section.

Our Shared Solution

As a result of these collaborative efforts, we’re excited to share a fully responsive plus 508-compliant prototype of the FCC’s new website design. The prototype is accessible on the computer, tablet, and mobile gadget and includes the following key functions:

  • User-friendly information architecture which allows users to comprehend where they are, navigate more easily, and locate information more efficiently
  • Homepage design which includes content users are coming to the website to access daily
  • Clean typeface plus overall light look and feel that makes the website easy to read
  • Separate area for consumers and a “toggle” navigation that allows visitors to access information by either “Topic” or “Bureau and Office” homepages

Next Steps

Within the months ahead, we will be building away the back-end functionality of the internet site to better meet the needs of external website users, and internal articles publishers and developers. This function will include implementing the improved info architecture, streamlining the web publishing process, and migrating content from FCC. gov and related subdomains to the new design and information architecture. This work will make it easier for both content owners to maintain pages updated and for website users to navigate the website and find info.

In addition , the FCC is working to implement an HTTPS-by-default standard to provide a more secure connection between an individual visitor and the FCC internet site. In December, the FCC rolled away this feature for our new Customer Help Desk (consumercomplaints. fcc. gov). By the end of April, all visitors to the main FCC website will immediately connect using this standard, delivering an even more secure connection

Right at the end of May, the FCC will certainly implement a new search application to the current FCC. gov site, significantly improving users’ search experience. The particular search application will aggregate outcomes for both FCC. gov plus our Electronic Document Management Program (EDOCs) content into a seamless encounter, and provide filters and facets for further advanced site users.

By September 30, 2015, the FCC will launch an improved FCC. gov featuring the new design, info architecture and search application. The first site launch will include website articles approximately three levels deep to the new site. Work will keep on after launch to integrate the greater complex content and data not originally included at site release. This content and data is currently being assessed and prioritized for incorporation into the new website.

We are thankful to all the different stakeholders who provided input into this design. This includes those who provided private input through using the existing web site, as well as those who participated in the scientific approaches we pursued to design the prototype.

As we near the development phase of this project, we invite you to view a model of what the improved FCC. gov will look like and provide any suggestions or feedback by emailing WebFeedback@fcc. gov.

You can access the prototype by clicking on the following link:

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