One year with the new USAGov

May 14, 2024   Posted by: PX Product team

It’s been a year since we launched reimagined versions of and USAGov en Español based on human-centered design (HCD) principles. Last year, we shared posts highlighting how we used those principles to shift our approaches to content development, user experience, and analytics.

Between bi-weekly check-ins, pre-sprint meetings, and post-sprint retros, we continue to work closely across teams as we improve the websites. Here’s a snapshot of some of the major categories of our work over the past year.

Task backlog

In preparing to launch last year, we prioritized must-have features and functionality. We moved the tasks we weren’t able to complete to our backlog list of things to address after cutover. Over the last year, we’ve worked through that list, including:

  • Filling content gaps
  • Discoverability of USAGov content
    • Writing custom metadata for each page
    • Enabling automatic sitemap generation for commercial search engines
    • Implementing FAQ schema to allow USAGov content to appear directly on search engine results pages
  • Technical updates
    • Upgrading our open source web Content Management System (CMS) and text editor instances

Addressing user feedback

Usability tests, visitor comments, and click behavior have provided valuable feedback and revealed unmet needs. For example, our contact elected officials tool was the only way on our site that users could get contact information for their representatives. While many users succeeded in this task, data showed that a significant number of users didn’t want to provide their home addresses to find elected officials. Others shared that they wanted the contact information for an elected official outside of their district. In response, we offered alternative means to meet those needs. We’ve also taken steps to validate users' addresses so the tool returns valid results and added headers and descriptors to make it easier to find a specific official.

We also learned from usability tests that searching for an agency name in our federal directory records could be confusing. When they searched, participants expected the agency name and information to appear right in the federal directory section. Instead, they were directed to a list of search results on a page outside that section. We used this feedback to redesign the journey. We implemented autofill search that filtered out agency names as a visitor typed, and ultimately only displayed the directory record for their agency of interest directly on our site.

Improved user outcomes

All year long we’ve been collecting metrics measuring visitor satisfaction and task accomplishment. And we’ve been making comparisons between the current and previous versions of the websites. Normally, these metrics don’t have significant shifts quarter over a quarter or even within a year. However, both and USAGov en Español have enjoyed noticeable and sustained increased scores since the relaunch. On a 5-point scale, customer satisfaction among surveyed visitors increased.


Satisfaction - previous website

Satisfaction - current website



USAGov en Español



Similarly, visitors indicated a greater sense of completing their tasks on the new websites.


Task accomplishment - previous website

Task accomplishment - current website



USAGov en Español



What’s next: benefits and more

As we move forward, our focus will shift from optimizing current features to discovering new ways for the public to engage with their government. We are currently working to improve how people can find and experience benefits-related content on our sites. Further out, we’re looking to explore more interactive opportunities and personalized journeys. Stay tuned for more updates from USAGov!

About this Blog

USAGov, and work to make it easier for people to find information from their government about the services they need. Follow our journey and help us learn as we go. 

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