Ask, and you shall receive.
That was the strategy behind the new homepage from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new CDC.gov homepage debuted last month with a responsive design that offers a “one-site-fits-all” experience based on feedback from you, the public.
Before setting out on their journey of Web redesign, the CDC team sorted through satisfaction survey and traffic data from more than 10,000 users who came to CDC.gov. They then completed two more surveys that asked users how the homepage should be improved and what content and functions were most important. Once the team had a final prototype of the new site, they conducted thorough usability testing on a variety of smartphones, small and large-sized tablets, desktops and laptops.
So, what DID you want from CDC, beyond a mobile-optimized homepage that performs well across multitudes of devices and screen dimensions? How about:
A Quick List on outbreaks. Betcha didn’t know there’s been a “Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Newport Infections Linked to Organic Sprouted Chia Powder,” huh? Check the left-hand content box for the latest infections to steer clear of.
A bolder, more streamlined What’s New section that highlights important trending topics. Like hurricanes. Did you know the Atlantic hurricane season started June 1 and runs through November 30? CDC has readiness tips and resources for you. Remember: It only takes one bad storm to affect the health and safety of you and your loved ones.
Bigger space to showcase feature stories‘ text, data, tips and graphics: Get out your hand sanitizer! The highly contagious Norovirus infects 20 million people each year and is back in the headlines this week.
Why the redesign?
Instead of simply creating a homepage that was just visually mobile-optimized, CDC worked to make more popular content easier to find and access. From their user research, the digital team found that many “topic-driven” mobile visitors bypassed the homepage altogether, heading straight to lower-level content pages. So, they tweaked the focus of the page to raise the profile of content visitors were most interested in accessing from the get-go.
How did all that work out? Looks like the upfront research paid off: In a recent survey of user feedback, CDC says that 93 percent of respondents agreed the new homepage is easy to use and that the content is useful, 92 percent were “satisfied,” and 91 percent reported that they “enjoyed” using the page. You can’t ask for more than that…
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