FedRAMP – Usability Case Study

Oct 15, 2012

Websites allow newer government programs to establish a visual identity that introduces them to users and conveys the importance of their work.

On April 18, 2012, the DigitalGov User Experience Program helped test GSA’s Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) site, which at that point was less than six months old. Three immediate needs were identified.

Problem 1: Purpose of Program Not Clear

The homepage text was filled with jargon and acronyms, and provided no clear guidance for the user to understand why they should engage with FedRAMP.

Solution 1: Add Program Tagline to Homepage

A banner bearing the tagline “Ensuring Secure Cloud Computing for the Federal Government” was added to the homepage, giving new visitors an immediate idea of what FedRAMP does and why they should care.

Problem 2: Homepage Confusing

The description of the program on the homepage does not explain its activity in plain language, nor does it explain the scope or significance of its work.

Solution 2: Add Navigation Buttons in Plain Language

The addition of three large buttons below the banner, aimed at particular audiences, makes navigation significantly easier for those groups and further defines FedRAMP’s activities for users.

Problem 3: No Clear Starting Point

Lacking a clear understanding of why they should be interested in FedRAMP, users had little patience for the blocky, text-heavy layout of the page.

Solution 3: Simplify Homepage to Help Users Navigate

Actions 1 and 2 significantly reduced the amount of text on the homepage, making it more visually appealing and easier for users to navigate to where they need to go.