Function Over Form

My feedback

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      0 comments  ·  FCC.gov Bug Tracker  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
      Function Over Form shared this idea  · 
    • 479 votes
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        Function Over Form commented  · 

        The news feed function needs more work. Today the Commission adopted three items, each item has a news release and statements by four Commissioners. If you go to the old page, you see all of these items plus Commissioner Baker's statement, and various other items, all concisely and clearly presented.

        The new front page gives a separate entry for each statement. The effect is that on the new front page, all you see is links to five of the Commissioner statements. Even those have the titles truncated to the point of being incomprehensible.

        If you click on the newsroom link, it's not much better. Here you get ten items per page. 8 of them are individual links to the Commissioner statements, two are the news releases.

        Compared to the old page where the Notices, their news releases, and the Commissioners' statements would all be presented in about 1.5 inches of screen real estate each, here I would have to click through four or five full screens of results to see these three items.

        Do you see how less efficient and less user-friendly this is?

        Function Over Form commented  · 

        Chris,

        Your point is well taken: every time there is a website redesign there will be a period of adjustment. But part of my concern is that it seems that in the design process aesthetic considerations took priority over usability.

        I've read a bit about some of the back-end things the New Media team did to improve the site, and many of those sound great. I've not gotten the hang of the new search function, but I'm willing to keep giving it a shot.

        I do think that the team did not give sufficient consideration to the people who use the site every day. I understand that the hope is that the general public will get more out of the FCC's site now, and that would be great. However it's naive not to accept that the primary users of the FCC's site are the lawyers, engineers, and other representatives of regulated entities that rely upon it as a primary resource for regulatory, legal, and licensing information. Whether they like to think so or not, these people are the primary consumers of the FCC's website. Their needs should get at least some consideration.

        I tried to give some more constructive input in this post: http://fccdotgov.uservoice.com/forums/105541-a-new-fcc-gov-feedback/suggestions/1679543-official-documents-suggestions. There I discuss how the new "Official Documents" feature can be made more usable. I hope the New Media team is willing to take these suggestions and the ones I previously made about not truncating headlines/story names and making it easier to get directly to relevant information and documents into consideration. I know these aren't as easy as changing the size of the font in a menu, but I think they will make a bigger difference for user-friendliness.

        Function Over Form commented  · 

        My point was not that the old site was perfect or that we should refuse to learn a new interface. My point was that usability has been sacrificed in the name of "cool"

        I don't think the old site is clumsy. Visually outdated, definitely. But if anything the new site is clumsier:

        (1) Headlines on the new site are truncated to the point that you don't know what the document/story is actually about
        (2) Getting to a Bureau home page takes twice as many clicks as it did before.
        (3) Getting to an actual digital copy of a document takes twice as many clicks as it did before.

        Function Over Form commented  · 

        I think you'd agree with the critique in my "New site emphasizes style over substance"

        Function Over Form commented  · 

        I agree. Ultimately the FCC site should be a resource for current, detailed, and occassionally highly technical information. I have no problem with a graphic/animation featuring the ongoing initiatives the Commission is most proud of, however don't make it difficult to actually use the site.

        Function Over Form commented  · 

        tl;dr: The headlines/names of documents should not be truncated. Currently they are occasionally meaningless. The emphasis should be more on quickly providing useful information, not on happy graphics and fluffy videos.

        Function Over Form shared this idea  · 
      • 216 votes
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          We are looking into ways to provide a tailored experience for frequent users of FCC.gov based on feedback we have heard from users.

          Would love to hear suggestions on features you would be most interested in adding to a “professional user” interface as we begin to develop this.

          Daily Digest? Improved EDOCs search? Easy access to ECFS?

          Send us your ideas.

          -FCC New Media

          Function Over Form supported this idea  · 
          Function Over Form commented  · 

          I think this is a worthwhile consideration. Definitely old links should not be broken, as fgoodwin recommends. Also, maintaining the ability to reach the legacy frontpage would satisfy industry users while letting the FCC pursue its outreach efforts.

          If you support this proposal, you might also agree with these other postings
          Site prioritizes style over substance: http://fccdotgov.uservoice.com/forums/105541-a-new-fcc-gov-feedback/suggestions/1678675-new-site-emphasizes-style-over-substance
          Make bureaus more easily accessible: http://fccdotgov.uservoice.com/forums/105541-a-new-fcc-gov-feedback/suggestions/1678107-put-the-bureaus-and-offices-closer-to-the-top-of-t
          "Offical Documents" suggestions: http://fccdotgov.uservoice.com/forums/105541-a-new-fcc-gov-feedback/suggestions/1679543-official-documents-suggestions

        • 123 votes
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            Function Over Form commented  · 

            I agree with all of the first part of your comment, rjf. Especially the point about making video content available as text, which will aid searches and persons with disabilities.

            Regarding the second point. I'm all for the government hosting non-sensitive content on free private sector resources like YouTube. (1) It increases the likelihood of the content being seen by the public; and (2) it saves government resources as the private sector pays for the cost of storing/maintaining/presenting the content. Win-win, as I see it.

            Function Over Form commented  · 

            I agree with Mr. Beckwith. Perhaps one link to a "meet the FCC" page with all the videos and blogs would be appropriate, but right now they dominate the frontpage.

          • 5 votes
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              0 comments  ·  CLOSED: A New FCC.gov - Feedback  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

              Thanks ‘Function Over Form’ for the very useful feedback on how we can improve the Official Documents section of the site.

              The spirit behind the Beta release was exactly this— to give super-users of FCC.gov like yourself the opportunity to provide valuable input on how to improve the redesign.

              We’re looking into all three of your suggestions now. Many thanks.

              -FCC New Media

              Function Over Form shared this idea  · 
            • 3 votes
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                started  ·  0 comments  ·  CLOSED: A New FCC.gov - Feedback  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

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