When we started the Mass.gov redesign, we pledged to use data every step of the way to make sure we are delivering the best experience possible to constituents and content authors.
We’ve come a long way since our first blog post last fall, and now we’re ready to take the next step on the journey.
We’re pleased to announce the Mass.gov Pilot website — our first crack at the redesign of your state government’s website. As part of our effort to prioritize data on this project, we need your feedback on what we’ve done so far.
We’ve been adding features and creating content prototypes for the top pages, so please explore the pilot site and let us know what you think! There are feedback forms at the bottom of most pages. We’re looking for input from our colleagues in the civic tech and design community, Massachusetts residents, and anyone who uses Mass.gov.
While the pilot site is our testing ground, each decision we made in its development is based on data we collected or analyzed. Here’s where we started, by the numbers:
- 235,000+ HTML pages and documents
- 76% of constituents engage with the Massachusetts government through our website
- 70% of users come from a search engine directly to the pages they are looking for
- 10% of our pages comprise 89% of our traffic
As you might imagine with those stats, we had to prioritize our efforts. We wanted to improve as many people’s experiences with the state government as quickly as possible, so we focused on top services when designing and building the pilot. Many digital services teams played a role in that work:
- Our UX designers did a landscape analysis of every other state government’s website. They also interviewed dozens of Massachusetts stakeholders to better understand why they use Mass.gov and how they feel about the current site.
- Our visual designers used that information and drew on the state’s history to create brand pillars and a visual design language.
- Our data scientists took a close look at the most-trafficked pages on our current website using Google Analytics and Akamai and created a list of the top 19 reasons people come to Mass.gov. The pages we selected to bring onto the new pilot site are based on that list.
- Our content and UX teams developed a new information architecture for the site that was informed by all of the data we’d gathered so far. We tested it using Treejack and made some improvements.
And then we put it all together to give it a test drive.
Over the coming months, we’ll be using this data and your feedback to make targeted improvements to the design, content, IA, code — anything that needs tweaking.
We’ll also continue working with our neighbors and Massachusetts-based experts to ensure that Mass.gov serves everyone. Stay tuned for a post on our user testing at the Perkins School for the Blind and what we learned there.