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How a Small Team Modernized a Federal Website to Improve CX

July 11, 2023

By Performance.gov Team

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In today’s digital age, government agencies are increasingly recognizing the importance of modernizing their websites to ensure a more positive, intuitive federal customer experience (CX).

The recent redesign of the Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) website stands as an example for agencies seeking to enhance their online platforms. ONRR (pronounced like “honor”) is an agency within the Department of Interior (DOI) that manages an average of $10 billion each year in energy and mineral revenues from the Outer Continental Shelf and onshore federal, American Indian, and Alaska Native lands.

ONRR’s Open Data, Design, and Development (ODDD) team played a pivotal role in this website transformation by embracing open data, user-centered design, accessibility, collaboration, and continuous improvement.

Understanding the Need for Change

To kickstart the redesign process, the ODDD team conducted a thorough assessment of the existing onrr.gov website. They identified pain points, usability challenges, and outdated design elements that were hindering its effectiveness. Armed with this knowledge, the team adopted a user-centric approach and conducted extensive user research involving ONRR employees, federal employees, and industry users. This research informed their design decisions, leading to the creation of intuitive and visually appealing interfaces.

Working hand-in-hand with developers, the team brought these designs to life, ensuring that the web pages adhered to industry standards. Prior to the final launch, they released a beta version of the website to gather user feedback. This feedback allowed them to refine the design and address any issues, resulting in an improved CX on onrr.gov.

Key Takeaways

The redesign of onrr.gov offers several key takeaways that can be applied to other government website modernization efforts:

  • Embrace Open Data: Incorporating open data principles promotes transparency and enables collaboration. By making data easily accessible to the public, agencies empower stakeholders and support data-driven decision-making.
  • Prioritize User-Centered Design: A user-centered design approach is crucial for creating websites that meet user needs and preferences. Conducting research, usability testing, and gathering user feedback can inform design decisions, resulting in intuitive and user-friendly websites.
  • Ensure Accessibility: Accessibility should be a top priority in website redesign projects. By adhering to accessibility guidelines and incorporating features like responsive design, agencies can ensure that their websites are accessible to users across different devices and abilities.
  • Foster Collaboration: Successful website redesigns often involve collaboration across disciplines. Bringing together data analysts, designers, developers, and other stakeholders facilitates the integration of diverse expertise, resulting in cohesive and comprehensive websites.
  • Embrace Continuous Improvement: Website development is an iterative process. By seeking feedback from users and stakeholders and making iterative enhancements based on that feedback, agencies can continuously improve their websites to meet evolving user needs.

These takeaways serve as valuable guidance for government agencies aiming to modernize their websites, enhance CX, and effectively engage with their audiences. Read a comprehensive review of the process from the ODDD team themselves on their blog.

Learn More About Interior’s CX Work

In addition to this work, Interior is home to four High Impact Service Providers (HISPs): Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Trust Funds Administration, Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service. HISPs are certain federal entities that provide or fund high-impact customer-facing services. They either have a large customer base or a high impact on those served by the program. Learn more about the important CX work going on at these bureaus on the Department of Interior CX page.

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Updated quarterly with progress on agency and PMA priorities and strategies.