OPM.gov: Looking good

The Office of Personnel Management last week unveiled its new Web site — designed to be more user-friendly and easier to navigate.

OPM chief information officer Janet Barnes called the site "our new doorway" and said it follows many of the principles outlined in the President's Management Agenda.

"President Bush wants results, and he wants us to use technology," she said, speaking at an event to highlight the new site and the agency's progress on five e-government initiatives.

OPM officials highlighted several improvements:

* Officials included a link for new users at the top of the Web site, because they discovered that more than one-third of visitors had never been to the site before, Barnes said.

* Six boxes at the bottom of the page link users to the most frequently sought information, including forms, news and events, human resources tools, OPM publications, e-government initiatives, products, and services.

* The center of the page is dedicated to special features, such as messages from OPM Director Kay Coles James.

* The search tools were also made easier to find and use, said Vivian Mackey, OPM's Web site manager.

Mackey said the redesign team looked for best practices and features on other Web sites, including FirstGov, which aims to deliver any type of information to users in no more than three clicks.

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