The following is a guest post by Annette James, Program Specialist in the U.S. Copyright Office’s Public Information and Education Division.
Coming this month, we will launch an update of our website, copyright.gov, and its navigation to better serve the public and our staff.
When we last updated the website, our goal was to make it more user-focused, organized, responsive, and easy to navigate. Based on initial feedback, we accomplished that. However, over time, we added new pages, new capabilities, and additional content to existing pages that made the website less user-friendly.
For this update, we surveyed users and gathered feedback. We also used analytics to understand how people from inside and outside the office were using the pages. That helped us identified which pages people did – and did not — frequently visit. We also learned how people performed specified tasks, giving us insight into how both copyright experts and novices interact with the website.
Altogether, we will soon have a dynamic website with a more streamlined homepage that focuses on the pages people use the most. If those patterns change over time, we will change what we highlight. Furthermore, because people told us they had a hard time finding some items, we improved our search and navigation capabilities so it will be easier to locate the pages you need.
There are a few things to keep in mind when we first transition to the new layout. First, all of our current pages will still be available. If you visited or bookmarked a page before the change, you will still have access to it after the change. Second, we are only migrating our primary and secondary pages at first. Over time, however, we’ll update the remaining pages so that eventually every page will have the same look and feel.
We are excited about this update and how it will make it easier for you to find the copyright information you need. If you would like to know as soon the new website design goes live, subscribe to our NewsNet service to get the announcement.