The FCC has announced that its large-scale website redesign will be completed by December 10. The switch to the new site is set to begin on December 10 at 0100 UTC and will be completed about 4 hours later.
“While the transition to the revamped site is expected to be completed almost instantaneously, there will be an ongoing process following this transition that will continue to involve user feedback, fixes by the FCC’s Information Technology team, and content updates by policy bureaus and offices,” the FCC said in a November 24 Public Notice.
The FCC said the new website has been designed to provide “better functionality, an improved design, and better searchability and navigability.” Earlier this year the Commission’s IT Department opened a beta-test version of the site and has been gathering user comments.
“Extensive user research revealed how the FCC could improve the website’s information architecture to make content easier to find,” the Public Notice said. The FCC said its new website has been designed to operate on tablet and mobile device browsers with the display optimization based upon the device. The site utilizes a “toggle” navigation that allows visitors to browse either by “Category” or “Bureau and Office.”
When the new site comes online, the familiar current FCC website will no longer be available. The FCC said web pages and files on transition.fcc.gov that have not already migrated to the new site will remain available, and existing bookmarks will be redirected to the appropriate content on the new site. While the Commission has already upgraded some of its interactive systems, including the Consumer Help Center, and is working toward improvements on similar systems, including the Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), these systems will not be directly impacted by the December 10 migration.
“This migration will impact the look and functionality of web pages that are coded in HTML and managed through a content management system, such as the homepage and individual bureau pages,” the FCC Public Notice said. The FCC said the change to a new website design was, in part, driven by a need to start using a more modern, open-source content management system to upgrade the site’s look and architecture, and to transition to a system that is compatible with the latest website innovations.
FCC Chief Information Officer David Bray has written blog posts about the website development process, and the beta site has been publically available and soliciting feedback since April. Two additional public outreach sessions will be held before the December 10 changeover to explain the new site and its functionality to interested stakeholders.