New Mass.gov Site Designed by Velir in Partnership with EOTSS and Other Vendors Launched in October
In October, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the launch of the new Mass.gov. Mass.gov and its ecosystem of web properties are the primary platforms for delivering services and information to constituents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Velir, in collaboration with the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security (EOTSS), took on the Mass.gov redesign.
The website supports more than 275 government agencies, has more than 400 content authors, and serves more than 6.5 million residents and visitors of all ages and backgrounds.
EOTSS engaged Velir to solve the challenge of creating a design framework, governance model, and scalable pattern library for the new Mass.gov. Two core philosophies were central to the effort: having a constituent-focused approach and making decisions based on meaningful data.
Through a comprehensive, partnered effort with EOTSS stakeholders, Velir identified 720 priority tasks constituents visit Mass.gov to complete. This was accomplished by utilizing the taskonomy approach driven by the Jobs-To-Be-Done methodology.
Velir worked with the EOTSS Digital Services design team to completely rethink the information architecture, design, and user journeys that get visitors to the content they need. Identifying audiences, example users, content needs, and the types of actions constituents are likely to take were central to this work. Assessing the conceptual model, language preferences, motivation for visiting, and engagement types for audience members required using a sliding scale system. Through an iterative process, Velir was able to research and test solutions with real users until success was measured. Velir also provided guidance and a rules framework for organizing and streamlining a content repository with more than 250,000 articles.
Accessibility was a critical component of the project. For this reason, Velir incorporated WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliance standards into all aspects of the design process. As a state government website that serves the public, meeting this accessibility standard was an important achievement.
To help the Commonwealth move forward with other digital work, Velir delivered a scalable design pattern library to form the foundation of future projects, ensuring that all web properties and applications developed in the future have a consistent look and experience.
"We worked closely with the Velir design team every step of the way. Whiteboard sessions at Velir’s space, design reviews at the EOTSS offices, sharing design files – we really functioned as a large, combined UX team."— Harlan Weber, Director of Design & Service Innovation, EOTSS Digital Services
Various strategies were used to collect feedback to make the site constituent-centric. A major part of this effort involved launching a pilot version of the website, which allowed the team to iterate on design work based on real feedback and data from the public. This version of the site was visited by 330,000 users, and was a valuable tool to help Velir assess and verify the success of design decisions.
The launch of the newly redesigned Mass.gov represents a new era for forward-thinking state government. By improving search engine functionality, navigation structure, and the ability for users to find content, the new site serves its constituents more effectively. The new Mass.gov sets a higher bar for the Commonwealth and the Digital Services team at EOTSS as they look to engage with constituents in more meaningful ways in the future.
Velir is an established mid-sized agency with a top-tier portfolio of clients, ranging from the world's largest non-profits to Fortune 500 brands. We pride ourselves on our people-first culture and a low-ego workplace that embraces experimentation, collaboration, and continuous improvement.