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U.S. government overhauls websites for improved accessibility

U.S. government overhauls websites for improved accessibility

Government Overhaul

The U.S. government is implementing a complete overhaul of its official websites to increase user interaction and improve accessibility. The main reason behind this move is that approximately 40% of these websites are not mobile-friendly, and a staggering 60% suffer notable accessibility issues. Proposed improvements include mobile optimization, a more straightforward user interface, and the removal of digital hurdles to meet accessibility standards; this ensures users with disabilities can comfortably browse these websites.

To guarantee the successful facilitation of these changes, the government plans to work with digital specialists and collect feedback from a wider range of users. This extensive improvement plan underlines the U.S. government’s commitment to providing user-friendly, inclusive digital platforms for all citizens.

The objective of the project is to standardize over 10,000 webpages heavily visited by some 400 million users, and it’s envisaged to take over a decade to complete. This large-scale endeavor will require a diverse team of designers, tech experts, and data analysts, along with strategies to handle different business models, user preferences, and language differences across the webpages. Despite the difficulties, the project will significantly improve the usability and accessibility of these webpages for all users worldwide.

Key design features were explained in a memo from President Joe Biden’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which highlighted standardized graphics for alerts and buttons, efficient and inclusive user experience blueprints, and a consistent website banner.

Enhancing accessibility: U.S. website overhaul

Enhanced user accessibility and data protection are critical, and regular updates to maintain strong cybersecurity measures are encouraged. A clear, easy-to-understand language and active user feedback are advised to pinpoint potential areas of improvement.

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The new design system incorporates 243 unique icons and specific fonts for their versatility and readability. Clare Martorana, the federal chief information officer at OMB, stresses the importance of a uniform and distinct appearance across government websites to maintain public trust in the authenticity of these platforms. is the first to adhere to these strict design guidelines, with more to follow to ensure consistency and public trust.

So far, about 200 websites have adopted the new design system, resulting in over 600 websites benefiting from enhanced mobile optimization and 400 sites witnessing an increase in SEO. The project, encompassing over 10,000 .gov websites, aims to simplify access and make information on these platforms more accessible to users. More user-friendly website layouts, faster loading times, and an overall superior user experience are the project’s key goals. In this way, the U.S. government aims to provide a more transparent and efficient means of interaction for its population.

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