In January we told you how we made HHS.gov/DigitalStrategy mobile friendly. Putting the site in responsive design was the first significant update we made to the site since it launched in August 2012.
Today we’re happy to show you version 3.0, with updated landing pages and a new tagging system.
This site’s structure aligns with the general principles of the Digital Government Strategy. This enables us to meet the Strategy’s requirement to report on our progress towards its milestones. However, we want the site to do more. We see HHS.gov/DigitalStrategy as an opportunity to highlight examples of best practices in digital communications across the Department.
As we’ve published content over the last six months, articles have fallen into five primary categories. These are what you see in the site’s main level navigation. While the blog serves as our editorial section, the first four sections—People First, Open Data, Mobile, and Working Better—are similar to the topic sections of a newspaper. Within each section, you can find different stories on that topic area, offering insights or best practice recommendations.
To reinforce the distinction between the four topic sections and the blogs, we’ve updated the landing pages to showcase all of the stories we offer on that topic. These updated landing pages show you what is going on in the people first, mobile, open data, and working better realm around HHS.
Developing a Tagging System
From Google Analytics, we learned that visitors are unlikely to enter the site from the homepage. Instead, visitors enter through a specific article or on the landing page of one of the site’s sections. Knowing this, we thought visitors would benefit from having easier access to related content. We achieved this by cross-connecting content with topic based tags.
After reviewing each article and blog post on the site, we found that content fell into 18 different categories. We used these categories to create individual tags, which we then assigned to each page. You can find the tags on the right under ‘Popular Topics.’ We offer a short description of the tag’s meaning on its specific page.
In addition, we’re using visualization software in the right rail of the site to weight the popularity of each tag based on the number of articles and blogs we have related to it. As you can see, at the time of this post, we’ve had a lot of ‘public engagement’ stories and fewer ‘Medicare’ items.
Users can also click the tags at the top of each article and blog to find related stories.
We plan to use this site as a test bed for new ideas at HHS. Soon we will be launching improvements to our commenting system, which will allow you to post comments using your own names or pseudonyms, thumbs up ideas, and get email alerts so you can follow comments on a post.
What other features would you like to see us try out here?