Archives.gov Redesign Features
The National Archives redesigned website was selected as a winner in the Website / Dynamic Media: Public Sector category at the ClearMark Awards.
The ClearMark Awards are given to the best plain language documents and web sites. They are judged by a panel of international experts, following a strict set of criteria. Revised documents were judged on not just the quality of the final document, but also the quality of improvement.
Judges comments about the National Archives and Records Administration website include:
- Good job identifying key audiences and knowing what they want.
- Top tasks are easy to find.
- Home page and most topic portal pages fit on one screen.
- Very clean look and feel.
- The site carries top-level navigation to secondary sections.
- A very simple-to-use site!
Other Finalists in this Category:
- Texas.gov - also a winner
- Internal Revenue Service, Recruitment Office
- National Cancer Institute, Office of Communication and Education
- U.S. Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Federal Energy Management Program Training
- Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board
Thrift Savings Plan
Thank you for your input! See a summary of your feedback below.
The results are in – Design C received the most votes for the Archives.gov Redesign.
Categorize and Organize the Site
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:
- General Information
- Historical Topics
- Historical Research
- Resources for Veterans
- All Comments
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.
To prepare for the Archives.gov 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.
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
What were you primarily looking for today?
28% Historical Documents
25% Veterans' Service Records
19% Genealogy or family history information
How would you most like to interact with this site?
41% Bookmark or tag pages
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 Archives.gov visitors.
- Archives.gov 2009 Statistics Report
- Google Analysis: July 2009 - January 24, 2010 - these are the most common keywords Google found when crawling Archives.gov and reflect the subject matter of the site during the specified timeframe.
The redesign goals and how they were met are outlined in these documents.
- Redesign Strategy Overview: PDF
- Archives.gov Web Site Analysis and Recommendations
- Redesign Participation and Results:
- Usability Test Results - these tests were used to determine how visitors navigate the site, define labels, etc. The results were used for redesign recommendations.
If you are unable to access or view any of these documents, please contact the Web Program Staff.
The goal is to make Archives.gov a participatory user-focused web site. The Archives.gov 2010 redesign will:
- Streamline Navigation
- Improve Access to Holdings
- Simplify Content
- Update Visual Design
- Focus on Customer's Tasks
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.
- Continue to improve access to holdings.
- Migrate into a Content Management System (CMS).