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HHS Modernizes Website Homepage, Highlights Pandemic Efforts

The agency is putting public health announcements, guidelines and facts on COVID-19 front and center.

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screenshot of web page on Covid-19
Photo Credit: HHS.goc

The Department of Health and Human Services launched a new, modernized website homepage to simplify and improve how citizens navigate and find information on using any electronic device.

The Tuesday release of the redesign marks a “continuous improvement project” that will streamline how the public views and accesses information from the agency, according to a press release.

The homepage currently spotlights the recently declared national emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic, which features the White House’s “15 Days to Slow the Spread” coronavirus guidelines, federally funded clinical research trials, response efforts and other relevant information.

Top agency tasks and priorities, along with tile-links to HHS’ sub-agencies — such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration — have also become more visible to users.

Though HHS reported that user experience on its site has increased over the years — from less than 20% of users reporting to have consistently found or partially found what they were looking for five years ago, to 80% most recently — the agency noted that it “expects to see customer satisfaction continue to rise” through successful, iterative improvements.

“Because of how we, the consumers of information, interact with communications, our approach to improvements is never done,” the announcement states.

The redesign comes a few days after the agency had experienced “a significant increase in activity on HHS cyberinfrastructure,” as one HHS spokesperson said, after placing earlier protections on its IT infrastructure to prepare and respond to COVID-19.

The announcement also highlights HHS’ commitment to fulfill federal web-design standards set forth by the 21st Century IDEA Act of 2018, which requires all federal agency websites to meet the needs of or exceed each agency’s user expectations.

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