Based on customer research and feedback we collected and analyzed over time, we heard loud and clear that both search and navigation of our site could be much better. Visitors to census.gov should not have to work so hard to find the information and statistics they are looking for to complete their research, personal projects or business needs.
Over the past two years, we have been making some modest enhancements to census.gov to make our content more accessible, understandable, useful and interesting to the broadest possible audience. You may be familiar with some of these enhancements, such as an improved Population Clock, new Web tools like Easy Stats, Census Explorer and data visualizations, or the addition of our API. Today, we are taking these enhancements to the next level with the launch of beta.census.gov.
In a few weeks, we will officially launch the new site but you can take a sneak peak at it now and begin to familiarize yourself with its format. We hope the new census.gov will help you more easily find the information you need to make data driven decisions but do not worry, all of the information you rely upon is still available.
So what is different about the new census.gov? The new site navigation brings together demographic and economic content around topics such as health, income and poverty, education and population. If you are interested in our health statistics, you can now access the “Health” Web page to learn about Census Bureau statistics on disability, fertility, health insurance, healthcare industries, small area health insurance estimates, HIV/AIDS, social assistance and industries. In addition, theme pages will highlight a variety of content from working papers, publications, interactive tools and more. To help you find what you need, many of the pages also now include links to related content and popular services at the bottom.
As you check out the beta site, please be aware that links may take you back to the current site. We have a lot of content and the new census.gov will grow over time to include more updated pages.
We hope these changes will make it easier to find the information you need. In the coming months, you will also see changes to the results you get when you search for information on our site.
In line with the Digital Government Strategy, the new website is just one part of our digital transformation. Together with other innovations, such as our mobile apps, America’s Economy and dwellr, we are using 21st century technology to meet our centuries-old mission of making the statistics that define our growing, changing nation more accessible than ever before.
We are excited about the changes we are making to census.gov but they are all meaningless if they do not meet your needs. We continue to encourage your feedback via email and hope to construct a new census.gov site worthy of your daily interest and explorations.
This post was originally published on the Random Samplings blog by Lisa Wolfisch, Chief of the Web and Social Media Branch in the Census Bureau’s Center for New Media and Promotion.Edit