TBG & U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services
After the bumpy launch of HealthCare.gov in 2013, the idea of an easy-to-use government website free of glitches has become more of a punch line than reality. But in our work for USCIS.gov, TBG (The Berndt Group) did just that. Working through a prime contractor, our team led the redesign of the site–the award-winning website for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), part of the Department of Homeland Security.
USCIS is the country’s watchdog agency for lawful immigration. The agency grants immigration and citizenship benefits and processes all requests for refugee applications, immigration visas and citizen and naturalization requests. If someone wants to fulfill their dream of living in this country and becoming a U.S. citizen, they (or their delegates) must frequently interact with the site to download forms, understand the process, read citizenship and green card rules and check the status of their case.
That’s a key reason why this project was one of the most gratifying projects under our belt at TBG. Our team had the opportunity to fix numerous usability problems on the site, making the lives of countless immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers infinitely easier. In fact, we rapidly accelerated the project to make dramatic usability changes as quickly as possible.
Our task was to develop an overarching Web strategy to improve user experience at all levels for the site. Our team embarked on extensive research to inform our decisions at every step. We facilitated focus groups and strategic planning with immigration advocacy groups and end-users. We also conducted a review of best practices for government and community sites.
The new site was a major improvement in usability, customer service, and messaging. The site has been modified since its launch, but many of the original usability and information architecture concepts remain.
TBG received a Vendor Excellence Award from the Department of Homeland Security for our role in the project.