FCC Poised To Introduce Redesigned Website

The commission says it expects to launch the new site on Dec. 10 that will feature better functionality, an improved design and better searchability and navigability.

The FCC said today that it is performing a large-scale redesign of its website, FCC.gov, to improve usability. The switch to the new site is scheduled to begin on Dec. 9 at 8 p.m. ET and be completed by midnight Dec. 10. While the transition to the revamped site is expected to be completed almost instantaneously, there will be an ongoing process following this transition that will continue to involve user feedback, fixes by the FCC’s Information Technology team, and content updates by policy bureaus and offices.

The commission said the new website is designed to provide better functionality, an improved design and better searchability and navigability. It was undertaken after “extensive user research revealed how the FCC could improve the website’s information architecture to make content easier to find.”

The new site is responsively designed and improves interoperability with tablet and mobile device browsers, with the display optimizing based upon the device being used to view the site. The site uses a “toggle” navigation that allows visitors to browse either by “Category” or “Bureau and Office.”

As part of this transition, the current website will no longer be available. Webpages and files that are on transition.fcc.gov that have not already been migrated to the new site will remain available.  Existing bookmarks will be redirected to the appropriate content on the new site.

The commission said it has worked to ensure that all Web addresses that users might have bookmarked or otherwise utilize on an ongoing basis will remain connected to the relevant content. In addition, while the commission has already upgraded some of its interactive systems (including the Consumer Help Center) and is working toward improvements on other such interactive systems (including the Electronic Comment Filing System), these systems will not be directly impacted by the migration on Dec. 10.

This migration will affect the look and functionality of webpages that are coded in HTML and managed through a content management system, such as the homepage and individual bureau pages.  The move is in part necessitated by the commission’s need to begin using a more modern, open-source content management system both to directly upgrade the website’s look and architecture, and to begin using a system that is compatible with the latest website innovations.

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Currently, the text on most commission webpages is being updated, reformatted and migrated to the new site. This content migration project is expected to be completed by the time the FCC switches to the new site. The commission said that while its expectation is to switch to the new website on Dec. 10, there may be some specific pages — generally deep within the site’s map — that will need format, content or functional improvements after the change-over date. The commission asks encourage users to send feedback and to alert it to any content that needs to be updated, or other “bugs” through this interface: https://prototype.fcc.gov/eform/submit/feedback 

This transition follows an outreach process during which user research gathered information from regular FCC practitioners, the general public and other users. The commission’s CIO has written blog posts about this process in order to inform the public and regular users, and the prototype of the site has been publically available and soliciting feedback since April 2015 at https://prototype.fcc.gov.

In addition, there will be two public outreach sessions before the Dec. 10 change-over that will let interested stakeholders learn more about the new site and its functionalities.


Comments (2)

Leave a Reply

Maria Black says:

November 24, 2015 at 2:19 pm

Fingers crossed that things will actually be easier to find. You’re better off searching Google and hoping it finds the right page on the FCC site at the moment.

Keith ONeal says:

November 24, 2015 at 9:51 pm

Let’s just hope that the FCC doesn’t screw this up like Tribune did with their newspaper websites!


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