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As charter members of the Digital Services Coalition, we're always interested in connecting with other companies focused on our common goal of digital transformation in government. So we can find ways to build better products, together.

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Send us an email at teaming@thesocompany.com.

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Learn more about what it's like to work at The So Company


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New York | Los Angeles | Washington, D.C. 

VA.gov

Department of Veterans Affairs

Challenge

Historically, Veterans have had to navigate hundreds of different websites, forms, and passwords to access and manage their VA benefits and health care. As a result, many didn’t bother with VA websites at all—and those who did were often left frustrated. In fact, from 2010 to 2016, Veterans submitted only about 8% of VA health care applications online.


Together with Digital Service at VA and our prime contractor Ad Hoc, our challenge was to provide Veterans with what they asked for most: a single point of access for all things VA.

Role

We provided end-to-end content strategy and management. We also led the site's plain language writing and editing efforts, including helping to create the plain language content style guide. In addition, we provided front-end development, quality assurance, and call center customer service experience support. 

What we did

Our content team: 

  • Worked closely with our partner's information architect to restructure VA.gov content

  • Helped to research and design new family member and service member hubs

  • Led SEO keyword research and optimization across hundreds of pages

  • Managed the rewriting, approval, and migration of legacy VA content

  • Provided plain language UX writing across multiple product teams

  • Helped lead the creation of the VA.gov content style guide

  • Developed plain language training materials for VA content producers

700+

23

400

Pages audited to make strategic recommendations for content migration and rewriting

New hub and landing pages created

New optimized URLs created

Impact

The VA.gov redesign transformed the department’s main domain from a bureaucratic maze into an easy-to-use front door to all the information, forms, tools, and services Veterans, service members, and their families need most.

 

In addition, our team's plain language writing and content design efforts played a significant role in VA receiving the distinction of being 1 of only 2 federal agencies to receive an "A" grade for writing quality in the 2019 Center for Plain Language Federal Report Card. The report specifically called out a page our team created on preventing Veteran suicide as an example of an exemplary help page.

52%

Increase in online traffic to
health care application soon
after launch

21.8%

Increase in user satisfaction
almost overnight

Numbers will likely continue to rise as VA further consolidates its many sites into one new VA.gov.

References: U.S. Digital Service at VA 2016 report to Congress, FederalTimes.com article