Open Government at the National Archives Redesign Features

Did You Know? has a new look and new features as of Monday, December 13, 2010.
Read the Press Release. has a New Look
Preview the Redesign

Features of the Redesign

The redesign is a step in making our web site "an effective and easy tool for our users." With your input, this web site will continue to evolve and improve to meet your needs. (View the Redesign Goals.)

Highlights from Our Collection
This feature is being expanded to more areas.
Native American Heritage Portal Preview
Native American Heritage Topic Page

Locations Map
This is a new feature that is still going through some changes as we learn what works best for visitors.
Locations Preview
Our Locations Map

Thank you for showing us how you'd organize and design!

The above screenshots are based on the results of the following:

Read more details about our 2010 Redesign

Previous Participation

Thank you for your input! See a summary of your feedback below. Homepage Design CSelect Your Favorite Design

The results are in – Design C received the most votes for the Redesign.

Categorize and Organize the Site

Card Sort Results

Online card sorts are used to help us learn how citizens would organize the site. In April, everyone was invited to participate in Card Sorts during the Archives Genealogy Fair and online via Facebook and the NARAtions blog.

A summary of the results for each type of card sort is listed below. (There were 372 card sort participants.) These documents are in PDF format:

What Do You Call It

In May, we asked for input on how to refer to the documents, photos, and videos that the National Archives stores.

Data Analysis and Feedback

To prepare for the redesign, we are continually gathering web site data and user feedback from WebTrends reports, American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) survey data, site search data, and visitor comments. The following reports help us to gather information about visits, customers, and tasks. More data will be provided as it becomes available.

Who Are Our Customers and What Do They Want?

How frequently do you visit this site?
69%   First time
14%   Every 6 months or less
9%   About once a month
5%   About once a week

In what role are you using the web site today?
30%   Veteran or Veteran's family
23%   Genealogist or family historian
14%   Educator or student
14%   Researcher

What were you primarily looking for today?
28%   Historical Documents
25%   Veterans' Service Records
19%   Genealogy or family history information
9%   Other

How would you most like to interact with this site?
41%   Bookmark or tag pages
35%   None
15%   Receiving newsletters/email updates
8%   Watching Vodcasts or video

Data above is based on the January 1-June 30, 2010 ACSI Survey Results - the survey randomly pops up for visitors.

Statistical Data Reports

Strategy and Results

The redesign goals and how they were met are outlined in these documents.

If you are unable to access or view any of these documents, please contact the Web Program Staff.


Redesign Goals

The goal is to make a participatory user-focused web site. The 2010 redesign will:

  • Streamline Navigation
  • Improve Access to Holdings
  • Simplify Content
  • Update Visual Design
  • Focus on Customer's Tasks

Project Plan Schedule

The plan is to follow a multi-phase project plan to meet NARA's internal goals and ensure the site design reflects optimal user experience for the largest number of users:

Phase I (launch Winter 2010)

  • Redesign the home page and top task pages to focus on primary customers.
  • Implement a new search interface.

Phase II (launch 2011)

  • Address sections related to the other top user tasks.
  • Continue to make improvements to focus on the user and their top tasks.

Phase III

  • Continue to improve access to holdings.
  • Migrate into a Content Management System (CMS).