Office of Natural Resources Revenue Test Results
Usability should not just be a priority for websites frequented by the general public. Agency websites that serve very specific audiences still need to be as easy to use as possible. The Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) collects and dispenses revenue related to energy production on leased Federal and American Indian lands. As a result, their audience has very definite information needs that need to be met quickly.
First Fridays tested the ONRR site in August of 2011. After watching the testing, ONRR stakeholders and the First Fridays team identified the following three major issues that could be quickly fixed to make the site more usable for its audience:
- The navigation on the site was not entirely clear. This is highlighted on the homepage by a second set of press releases floating on the right-hand side, with no explanation as to why they were not under “News/Events.”
- Not all users were able to decipher the jargon (ex. FOIA) used in the main site navigation, leaving them without a clear idea of where to start their information search.
- For the ONRR audience, it was vital to be able to quickly find and read about new information that was released by the agency. The existing News/Events section provided no way of knowing what was the latest release, and no clear way of finding information that was not highlighted on the homepage.
The redesigned ONRR homepage presents a much more user-friendly and information-rich experience. The site is more visually appealing as well, and less daunting to new visitors.
- Navigation is clearly labeled, providing users with quick, easy-to-understand directions.
- The jargon in the main navigation was replaced with plain language, a change reflected in the navigational buckets as well.
- New information being issued by the agency is given a prominent place on the homepage, with summaries and dates making it easier for users to quickly identify what information might apply to them.