Digital Government

FCC unveils prototype website redesign

Screen capture of the FCC's website redesign. (04.21.2015)

(Image: Screen capture of the FCC's prototype.)

The Federal Communications Commission has unveiled a prototype of its planned website, the fruit of a redesign effort launched in August 2014 aimed at building more data functionality and security into

The agency said the new site, along with new information architecture and search applications, will launch by Sept. 30.

According to an April 20 blog post by CIO David Bray, the agency used rapid research and design techniques, as well as detailed web content analysis to get a sense of the most common traffic and most frequently searched terms.

The research showed stakeholders preferred clear separation of consumer and practitioner-focused content, Bray said. Practitioners such as lawyers and telecom providers use the website daily and prefer “cut and dry” information, while general consumers prefer informational content on a broad range of topics. Those separations are reflected in the redesign.

More immediately, Bray said his agency is implementing a new search application into the current site that will help speed user searches of both and its Electronic Document Management System, aggregating content into what he called “a seamless experience,” providing filters and search capabilities for more advanced users.

He added that the agency is also working to implement a more secure HTTPS-by-default standard for connections between individual visitors and the FCC site. The capability expands on a security feature the FCC rolled out in December for its new help desk. Bray said that by the end of April, all visitors to the main FCC site will automatically connect using HTTPS-by-default.

The official September launch will feature the new design, information architecture and search application, according to Bray. Although it will include deeper content at the launch, he said it will continue to integrate more complex content and data afterwards. Bray said the FCC is currently assessing and prioritizing content and data for integration. 

Between May and September, the FCC will work on back-end functionality for external users, as well as internal content publishers and developers, including implementing the improved information architecture, streamlining the web publishing process, and migrating content from and related subdomains into the new design and information architecture.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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