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U.S. government revamps extensive online presence

"Government Revamp"
“Government Revamp”

The U.S. government is undertaking comprehensive reforms of its online platform, with over 10,000 web pages to be modernized and standardized. This is in response to the current state where many of these sites are not mobile-friendly and possess accessibility issues. The reforms will significantly enhance user experience, emphasizing improved user-friendliness and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

This project is seen as mission-critical, given the increasing prominence of digital channels as a means of communication between American citizens and their government. However, due to the scope of the task involved, the complete transformation could potentially span a decade.

Recent data indicates glaring issues with federal websites, with almost half not mobile compatible, a significant 60% having potential accessibility issues, and a striking 80% not using the standard federal government design system. This leads to disparate user experiences and demonstrates the urgent need for reform.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Biden’s administration is spearheading these changes.

Modernizing the U.S. government’s digital platform

They interpret and implement the administration’s vision, providing guidelines and overseeing technology, policy, budgeting, and management to ensure an efficient and effective digital government presence.

The core objective of the new design system is to standardize the visual language, thus ensuring site legitimacy for users. Federal Chief Information Officer Clare Martorana emphasizes the role of a unified visual language in fostering user trust, security, and engagement.

Progress has been made with the updated design system deployed on 200 websites. Mobile optimization, SEO improvements, scalability, accessibility updates, and robust security measures are planned for other sites. This represents a fraction of the full-scale reform necessary for all .gov websites.

Content and search engine optimization are also critical to the revamp. Frequent updates and improvements are integrated into the process to ensure users can easily find official government information. The aim is to guide users directly to official government resources, thereby minimizing confusion or misinformation and prioritizing accuracy and straightforward accessibility.

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