The 4 Most Popular Federal Websites Aren’t Mobile Friendly

LDprod/Shutterstock.com

None of these highly trafficked dot-govs adhere to responsive Web design standards.

Despite a digital strategy issued by the White House two years ago calling for more mobile-friendly citizen services, the top four most-visited federal websites over the past 30 days still aren't optimized to be viewed on smaller screens, according to new analytics numbers released by the General Services Administration.

Launched last Thursday, the new analytics.usa.gov dashboard culls data from 300 (of “approximately” 1,350) executive branch domains, highlights the most-visited websites and breaks down visitor numbers by devices, browsers and operating systems.

The top four highly trafficked websites over the past 30 days are IRS.gov, Weather.gov, USAjobs.gov and NPS.gov.

None of these websites, however, adhere to responsive Web design standards, a development approach that allows for websites to easily adapt to a user’s device, be it phone, tablet or desktop, and provide an appropriate, enjoyable user experience.

According to the analytics, 25 percent of visitors to dot-gov websites use mobile devices. Including tablet users, more than one-third of citizens are getting a less-than-optimal user experience while visiting these sites.Those top four domains alone have received nearly 200 million visits over the past 30 days.

One notable omission to the data is HealthCare.gov, which does meet mobile standards, but is excluded from the analytics numbers.

“Our services must work well on all devices,” says a post on the White House website announcing the analytics dashboard. “Over the past 90 days, 33 percent of all traffic to our sites came from people using phones and tablets,” according to the post. “Over the same period last year, the number was 24 percent. Most of this growth came from an increase in mobile traffic. Every year, building digital services that work well on small screens becomes more important.”

Per a May 2013 federal digital strategy published by the White House, “Digital Government: Building a 21st-Century Platform to Better Serve the American People,” agencies should enable “the American people and an increasingly mobile workforce to access high-quality digital government information and services anywhere, anytime, on any device.”

“We are also optimizing federal websites for mobile devices and creating mobile apps to ensure government services are available to citizens anywhere, anytime and on any device,” wrote former U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park and former Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel announcing the strategy in 2013.

According to its “Minimum Computer Requirements for Free File Fillable Forms” page, IRS.gov doesn’t support the Safari Web browser, which drives 20 percent of all visitor traffic to dot-gov domains and is the default browser for iPhone and iPad users.

The analytics tool was built by 18F, GSA’s Digital Analytics Program and the new U.S. Digital Service.

This post originally appeared March 21 on GovFresh.com.

(Image via LDprod/ Shutterstock.com)

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