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A Complete Redesign with You in Mind

Posted by Peter Rhee, Director of Digital Communications - in Technology
Mar 06, 2017
Screenshot of the new USDA.gov website.
Screenshot of the new USDA.gov website.

We're excited to launch a complete redesign of USDA.gov featuring stronger visual storytelling components, a more modern user-experience with easy to find services and resources, and to top it off, a completely mobile-friendly design. 

Through careful planning, thoughtful design, and a primary focus on user experience and usability, we've taken the best of government and industry expertise and put it into creating our new website. 

This has been a year-long project, but to do this right, we wanted to make sure we tapped into every possible resource. Throughout the year, we conducted workshops to help define our audiences and develop a new way of organizing the information that matters most to you. We looked at every piece of content and took a ground-up approach to how we manage and deliver that information online, conducting user-testing to refine our strategies, and working with industry experts to bring those plans to reality.

The result was Drupal, our new Web Content Management System. We created a framework for an Enterprise-wide platform that allows for all of USDA websites to share and grow together and to manage content in a way that breaks down internal silos and optimize collaboration. 

One of our first case studies testing the Drupal system, was with the creation of the New Farmers website. At the same time, we were working to redesign our website, the U.S. Federal Web Design Standards were being drafted, so, we were able to take those guidelines and build the New Farmers website, a one-stop resource to help those who want to begin farming. The New Farmers website paired with Drupal proved to be a great launchpad for what was to come, the redesign of USDA.gov. 

Using Drupal, we created a completely responsive website, which means what you see on your desktop computer is the same content you'll see on your phone or tablet, not just a "mobile version." Give it a try. If you're on a computer, grab the corner of your browser window and change the size of that window to make it smaller. You'll see the website shift around and recreate itself to fit into what you would see on your phone or tablet. 

This is just the beginning so we need your help to making us better. While browsing USDA.gov, scroll to the footer and look for the feedback link. Please send us comments if you encounter an error or have suggestions for improving our website. We'd love to hear from you as we continue to improve the website for years to come.

Category/Topic: Technology

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Comments

Lindsay
Mar 31, 2017

Was a great windup and then "The result was Drupal..." Seriously, your result was the implementation of software? THIS is why U.S. government digital services are a wreck. You say you are thinking about the user and then the result is a software implementation.

The solution that you have isn't about the software, it's about the process. You are missing the boat. I dearly hope and pray that whatever you did is actually software agnostic, because you won't be using Drupal forever. I also hope and pray that your implementation is not as website-centric as you describe here, because if you are unable to serve useful processes and information outside of the confines of your website, this project fails.

It is a nice looking sit, though.

Rick Moen
Apr 03, 2017

I am interested in finding out where and how I can't read the list of homes being sold at the Usda auctions by county listings thank you very much

Ben Weaver
Apr 04, 2017

@RickMoen - you can see all the available USDA properties for sale at properties.sc.egov.usda.gov/resales/public/home. Please be sure you’re going to a site that ends in .gov to ensure you’re getting the most up-to-date and accurate information in a secure site. Thanks for your question.

Luther M. Clark
Apr 06, 2017

Good Morning, is there a way that I can see the hours of operation for the stores located in the basement of the South Bldg. at HQ?

Thanks!
R/LMC

Ricky Lee Sandridge
Apr 07, 2017

I would please like to find out how I can get one of these grants I am disabled on a fixed income it would help me very much thank you so much

Ben Weaver
Apr 07, 2017

@Ricky Lee Sandridge - we’re not exactly sure which grant you’re talking about, but if you’re talking about housing repair grants, your best bet is to contact your nearest USDA Rural Development office at http://rd.usda.gov/contact-us/state-offices and our staff can help you find out if you’re eligible for the program. Good luck, and thanks for the question.

Mark kochkodin
Apr 09, 2017

I am interested in rural development home loans and does zip code 17954 qualify

Ben Weaver
Apr 10, 2017

@Mark Kochkodin - Schuykill County is generally eligible for our home loan guarantee program, but without a specific address we can’t say for sure. Your best bet is to contact USDA Rural Development’s Lehigh Area Office in Allentown (https://www.rd.usda.gov/contact-us/state-offices/pa) at (484) 795-7616 – they cover Schuykill County – and they can find you the answers you need. Good luck!

Hiliary C
Apr 11, 2017

Great job. The new administration is already making a difference.

Robert smith
Apr 11, 2017

I like to get some more information about the first time farmer loan Does it include equipment and renting land capital for the farm what about livestock

Meredith Ayoub
Feb 26, 2018

A revamp of website in March of 2017 leaves the current info sadly outdated. Everything I have looked at on your site seems to be from 2017. Information on Farmers Markets and updates should be added at the very least once a year if not monthly as things change which is why I was directed to the site. However I am not finding any updated information.

Ben Weaver
Feb 26, 2018

@Meredith Ayoub - thank you for your comment. Would you please let us know which page on our website you are referring to?