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Web Modernization Maturity Assessment

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This scorecard will help you evaluate how well your site complies with the IDEA Act, target areas for improvement, and connect you to relevant resources.

  • USDA customers are the reason we do what we do. We need to know who our customers are, how to talk to them, what they need, and how they use our websites.

    • In the last 6 months, have you conducted user research (interviews, surveys, or focus groups)?

    • Have you ever incorporated feedback from a customer or user into new features, content, or design for your website(s)?

    If you answered “No”

    See our Research Guidelines for best practices on how to keep research at the heart of design and development.

  • Web analytics are crucial for getting an accurate picture of what your website customers are doing, so you can make the best data-driven decisions on how to adjust and improve your websites.

    • Do you have both DAP Google Analytics and USDA Google Analytics code on your site?

    • In the last 6 months, have you pulled reports on data trends and user behavior metrics (such as the top onsite search query term and top exit pages)?

    If you answered “No”

    See our Analytics Guidelines for best practices on implementing and using analytics.

  • In order to accurately represent the voice of your organization digitally, you need to understand the content you have, what information your customers are accessing, and how it speaks to them.

    • Within the last 6 months, have you assessed your site for redundant and outdated information?

    • Have you performed a content audit on your site within the last 6 months?

    • Does your page have a search function that yields usable results?

    If you answered “No”

    See our Content Guidelines for help on assessing and improving your content.

  • By following USDA’s brand identity, you provide a consistent experience across all USDA web assets.

    • Does your site adhere to the U.S. Web Design System?

    • Does your site have the USDA approved header, footer, and side navigation?

    If you answered “No”

    See our Design and Brand Guidelines and Style Guide for help adhering to brand guidelines.

  • Designing accessible experiences means taking into account the needs of people not only with blindness or low-vision, but people with other sensory, cognitive, or physical disabilities.

    • Is your site available in languages other than English?

    • Have you done an accessibility (508 or WCAG) review of your site within the past year?

    • Do all images and multimedia components have equivalent text or captions?

    • Are all of your webpages legible and navigable on mobile devices?

    If you answered “No”

    See our Accessibility Guidelines for making products usable by all audiences.

  • Clean code, consistent components, security, and accessibility are just a few of the considerations that you must address in the development process.

    • Are you building your site using the U.S. Web Design System and resources?

    • Have you ensured your site is compatible across browsers?

    • Do you know what browsers you’re required to support?

    • Have you implemented site search on your site?

    • Can your web servers support the amount of web traffic your site gets?

    If you answered “No”

    See our Development Guidelines for resources addressing key components when building your website.

  • Social media can connect you and your customers more directly. Utilize social media to share important updates, engage with your customers, and answer questions. Note: Your agency may not need to have a social media presence.

    • Does your agency or mission area have any social media pages?

    • How often are the pages updated?

    • Do you have a schedule for developing and sharing content?

    If you answered “No”

    See our Social Media Guidelines for resources addressing key components when building your website.

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This page was last updated October 27, 2020.

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The USDA Digital Strategy is being produced iteratively and relies on feedback from you to tell us what content you need to see, as well as what is and isn’t working. To send feedback, email us at