Face-lift for FDA.gov

The Food and Drug Administration has unveiled a new look for its Web site that incorporates expanded usability features.

The new look is based on a 'user-centered design process,' said Sanjay Koyani, director of FDA Web communications. Koyani is also one of the authors of Research-Based Web Design and Usability Guidelines, a guide to building better Web sites that was produced jointly by the Health and Human Services Department and the General Services Administration.

This digital front door is the first visible step toward a complete overhaul of FDA's Web site that began eight months ago as part of a broad agency effort to communicate directly with the public to protect and promote health, Koyani said. More new features and redesigned pages will be added throughout 2008, with the design scheduled for completion by December.

The revamped site's organization, navigation, terminology and graphic design were based on research involving more than 180 typical users, including consumers, health care professionals, industry representatives and members of the media. Additional changes to the site will be made using this same process.

The new site has a layered approach that lets users find information quickly. Content is presented in plain language to make it more understandable, FDA officials said.

More than 6 million users visit the site each month.

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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