First, you’ll notice that we’ve made search front and center. Our search feature was visited by one in seven users, and we’ve made it even easier to find and use. We are using the USA Search Drupal module, which allows faceted search across not just Commerce.gov, but all Commerce websites. If you know the information you need is somewhere in the Commerce family, but not sure where, our search tool should be able to find it for you.
To improve the user experience, the navigation bar follows the user down the page. No more scrolling up to the top of the page to navigate around the site. The navigation link you need is never more than a few pixels away. We’ve also simplified the navigation bar to make it easier to find what you are looking for. “Economic Indicators” has been replaced with “Find Data,” while “Newsroom” has been replaced with “Get News.” Based on user searches, we’ve added “Focus on Topics,” which groups our most searched topics into an easily navigable section.
On the home page, major statements and announcements are now front and center with blog posts right below, which features a slideshow of photos. We’ve gone with bigger pictures, too, since our users appreciate and enjoy those.
Speaking of photos, new to the Beta.Commerce.Gov is a media gallery with photo sets and videos. Rather than scrolling through pages of blog posts, you can now filter categories or search to find the photo or video you are looking for.
If you are one of the 25 percent of users who return to Commerce.gov on a regular basis and know exactly what you are looking for, don’t worry. You can still click to exactly where you want to go by using the links to Commerce bureaus and offices in the footer.
Another major improvement, especially for the growing number of users who visit the site on a mobile phone or tablet (20 percent and growing), the new template is built to be responsive. So now when you visit our site using a mobile device, you won’t just see a page scaled to your smaller screen – instead, you’ll see a page optimized for viewing on your device.
Jump on over to Beta.Commerce.gov and take our tour of the home page today! Let us know what you like, what you don’t and how we can improve it. Browse on.
Originally published on The Commerce Blog.