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U.S. government embarks on comprehensive website overhaul

"Government Overhaul"
“Government Overhaul”

The U.S. government is igniting a major initiative to renovate its websites. The decision stems from the fact that around 50% of existing sites are not mobile-compatible, and approximately 60% struggle with accessibility issues. Astonishingly, 45% of federal websites are not optimized for mobile use, and a whopping 80% don’t align with the government’s unified design system – a strategy deployed to enhance user experience and uniformity across all digital platforms.

This comprehensive renewal project is focused on improving the functionality, mobile compatibility, and overall user experience of these websites. It is a gesture in accord with the government’s commitment to making public information and services universally accessible, tackling non-compliant federal websites along the way.

Beyond mere aesthetics, this initiative addresses a serious concern – accessibility. As nearly 60% of these websites face accessibility issues, the government aims to provide equal access to crucial information and services to all individuals, regardless of their special needs or capabilities.

Commanded by President Joe Biden’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the revamp represents a significant overhaul and a pronounced commitment towards digital inclusivity.

U.S. embarks on major website overhaul

The plan is to refresh over 10,000 web pages that collectively draw an annual traffic of over 400 million individual users. The scope of this initiative not only pertains to visual improvements, but it prominently stretches to an array of online services and resources – from simple forms and applications to grand-scale databases.

While creating a visually cohesive interface, the revamped design also showcases roughly 243 diverse icons that cater to different requirements and engagements, such as a paperclip symbol for file attachments or a specific badge for law enforcement agencies. Moreover, Clare Martorana, the top federal information officer at the OMB, emphasized that the primary objective of this renovation is to make official government websites safer, more user-friendly, and instantly recognizable to the public.

This entire digital makeover project commenced with the redesign of the Whitehouse.gov webpage. High-traffic websites like the U.S. Postal Service, IRS, CDC, Social Security, National Park Service, and studentaid.gov are also among those identified for revamp. Functionality, in addition to aesthetics, remains a paramount consideration during these enhancements.

Owing to its complexity and magnitude, the revamp process is expected to span a ten-year period, ambitiously intending to enhance both the content and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of these websites. While it’s a monumental task, the ultimate objective is to make the platform more user-friendly and prominently visible on search engine results, thus facilitating easier access to legitimate and helpful information for the public at large.

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