The Iowa Department of Inspections & Appeals (DIA) worked closely with our team in redesigning and overhauling their website during their necessary transition from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8.
In order to make the new website more user-friendly, the client wanted to prioritize emphasizing categories and services rather than their previous bureau-focused menu organization. This change would allow users to locate the services they are looking for without having to know which bureau those services are associated with. To further simplify the user experience, DIA wanted to lead with their site search to make it easier to quickly locate information.
Our designer and content strategist worked together in coming up with a user-friendly on-page experience that emphasizes the site search bar while maintaining a robust and concise menu. To accomplish this goal, we developed a custom sidebar menu. This allowed us to maintain a visual emphasis on the home page search bar while still making the menu easy to use and access.
ADA-Compliant Website PDFs
It is no secret that the importance of creating an internet that is accessible to people of all abilities is becoming more and more essential. As the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its implications on the digital world develops, Webspec is always eager to help our clients find solutions that cater to internet users of all skill levels.
Plain Text PDFs
Despite their inaccessible nature (basic PDFs are, by default, unreadable by assistive technologies like screen readers), PDFs remain a standard file format across the world. The future may hold an alternative to PDFs, but in the meantime it is important to find workable solutions so more users can access the information contained within a PDF.
To provide a solution for DIA, we added a print-friendly PDF option to the site which allows them to offer existing PDFs in a plain text form that can be read by devices such as screen readers. This offers an alternative to auditing each individual PDF for accessibility while also preserving the user’s ability to save or send the information.
Custom Backend User Flows
It is obvious that a new website design should be easy to use and appealing to the audiences who visit the site, but it is also important that DIA’s internal website administrators can easily navigate and use the backend of the website to the extent that they need it.
Website User Access & Content Creation Flow
Our Drupal development team put their heads together to create an automated and streamlined system in the backend to make it easier for our client to moderate and approve content published to the website. The custom user flow we created works by giving users with a lower access level the ability to create a draft and send it to review. The draft will then be passed along in the system to someone with a higher access level to approve that draft before it can be published.
Beyond a simplified internal content approval process, our team accommodated DIA staff by setting up a private employee intranet. Logging in via the dia.iowa.gov website, employees use these intranet pages to:
- Access the department’s org. charts
- Download branded department letterhead & logos
- Read manuals and process documents
- Access links for employee onboarding, offboarding, and COVID test result forms
Government Website Improvements
Webspec has served the State of Iowa as a Drupal Managed Services Vendor since 2018. Check out our work with the Department of Inspections and Appeals for yourself, and get in touch with our state agency team for inquiries regarding Drupal or government websites.