How do we shift the structure of the FCC.gov website to more user-focused interactions vs. FCC-focused?
The goal of the 2010 redesign was to improve the navigation of the site. There hadn't been an uplift for almost nine years when I joined the project to represent the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau.
Our first task was to discover what people come to the website to accomplish. Our hypothesis was that people very rarely came to browse the site as-is because it was structured as an info-sharing site with little task-based features.
The project team had to advocate for data: web traffic, search terms, user feedback, and stakeholder interviews. That information helped us see that the most popular parts of the site were task-based actions like the e-filing systems on the site.
For my bureau, it became clear that the task our primary audience of first responders sought on the bureau site was access to emergency management plans and best practices. Creating a repository that was easy to navigate, search, and add to by public safety professionals was the main focus of my work. The webmaster, web devs and I also created an intake process to vet information with FCC experts for the site's content.
This was my first major UX challenge. This project taught me the patience and language to communicate design. It showed me the diplomacy and tact it can take to get people to see digital experiences as the core function of an organization — not just repositories of information or glossy marketing.
I loved working directly with web developers and the project leads. We moved quickly and had things up and running and tested.