September 5, 2014 - 3:47 pm
By Dr. David A. Bray | FCC Chief Information Officer

In August the FCC launched a project to improve fcc.gov and unify all of our related subdomains. The project is focused on enhancing our website to allow the FCC to more effectively meet the needs of our site’s internal and external stakeholders.

To ensure optimal usability for fcc.gov users, the FCC has partnered with industry leaders on user experience, search and analytics. Over the next four months, the project team will conduct research, prototyping, and usability-testing to complete a data and stakeholder-driven design for fcc.gov.

The first phase of the project will be completed by mid-January and will include improved search capabilities of the FCC’s current publicly available content and a working prototype of the new fcc.gov. Phase one of the project will focus on four key areas:

  1. Audience Research: We are conducting internal and external stakeholder interviews to gather and analyze information to define our website’s target-audiences and their typical tasks, needs, and obstacles.
  1. Content Research: We are determining what information our target audiences are expecting, and based on their information needs, how we should group and package information.
  1. Prototyping & Usability Testing: We will be moving the information outlined in steps one and two into a documented site structure of a visual representation of fcc.gov.
  1. Search & Analytics: We will be making significant improvements to the search capabilities of the FCC’s current publicly available content.

The second phase of the project is scheduled to be completed by mid-June and will include a fully functioning, responsively designed website with updated content and robust search capability. Building on these upgrades, the third phase of the project will focus on improving the FCC’s employee intranet website.

We are focused on answering the call from our users to improve our site. We are collaborating with multiple internal and external stakeholders to provide feedback and input, and the resulting data will guide the improvements to our website.

Over the next few months we will perform ongoing tests to either validate the direction in which we are going with design, navigation and content structure, or give us additional inputs for further refinement.

As part of our effort to improve fcc.gov, we are examining all aspects of the website, not just the look and feel. The future of fcc.gov will include a governance model that sustains our investment, ensures content currency, and leverages today’s technology to improve the delivery of FCC services.

In addition to our work to improve fcc.gov, we are also doing substantial work to modernize the FCC’s IT systems. By investing the time and energy to modernize our aging legacy systems in parallel with updating fcc.gov, we will holistically improve the data, information, and services the FCC provides the public.

As with any large project, it is important to have snapshots of our progress as efforts unfold. We will continue to provide updates on milestones and key developments through the end of this process.  We look forward to your continuing involvement and input.