Department of Veterans Affairs
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.
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
Pages audited to make strategic recommendations for content migration and rewriting
New hub and landing pages created
New optimized URLs created
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.
Increase in online traffic to
health care application soon
Increase in user satisfaction
Numbers will likely continue to rise as VA further consolidates its many sites into one new VA.gov.