Unpacking OMB M-23-22 to Build the Next Generation of Federal Websites

Every day, Americans spend an average of 4 hours 25 minutes on their phones. Social media and eCommerce sites have perfected the user experience, delivering seamless, tailored content to the individual. However, when it comes to government websites, users encounter a starkly contrasting experience: out of date designs, a sea of information, and a lack of clear direction. 

The recent policy guidance, M-23-22, issued by the Office of Management and Budget has ushered in a reevaluation of digital strategies across organizations, focusing on creating more inclusive, secure, and user-centered online experiences. Key mandates include enhancing accessibility for people with diverse abilities, ensuring that digital services are equitable and empathetic. Additionally, the directive emphasizes creating a cohesive visual identity and clear, straightforward content that avoids ambiguity to reinforce an agency’s brand values and simplify the process for users to find and understand information.

This directive also highlights the importance of cybersecurity, advocating for secure digital environments ‘by default’, and acknowledges the modern user’s expectations for dynamic, personalized experiences through user-centered and data-driven design. In line with technological advancements and changing user habits, M-23-22 encourages a a ‘mobile-first’ approach to guarantee that digital resources remain accessible, functional, and consistent across various devices, consequently boosting user engagement and accessibility.

USWDS and CivicPress

In aligning with the aims of M-23-22, the deployment of the United States Web Design System (USWDS) emerges as a pivotal strategy. USWDS provides a framework of design principles and code to help federal agencies craft digital experiences that adhere to the highest standards of accessibility, security, and user-centered design. By leveraging USWDS, organizations can ensure their websites not only meet but exceed the expectations set forth in the directive. CivicPress, a new WordPress theme that Lone Rock Point meticulously crafted, now easily ensures this consistency across digital platforms, aligning with USWDS standards.

Created by Lone Rock Point, the theme’s meticulously crafted features and outcomes, including compatibility with USWDS 3.0, adoption of a modern WordPress theming approach, and adherence to USWDS conventions, make it incredibly simple for government agencies to launch compliant and fully functional websites in less time. The theme supports block and classic theme components, offering flexibility while maintaining consistency with USWDS principles. With templates for essential pages like landing, documentation, and 404 pages, CivicPress takes the guesswork out of website development. 

Our Upcoming Webinar

To address these vital changes and guide your agency towards full compliance with OMB’s M-23-22, we invite you to join our upcoming webinar with WordPress VIP and Equalize Digital. This session will converge experts in the fields of accessible web design, cybersecurity, and user-centered development to provide actionable insights and best practices. Among the critical topics, we’ll be discussing the strategic deployment of the United States Web Design System (USWDS) and how leveraging it through tools like CivicPress can revolutionize your agency’s online presence. By participating, you will gain a deeper understanding of how to incorporate these essential pillars into your digital strategy and lead the charge in shaping a digital landscape that is inclusive, secure, and effective. Don’t miss this opportunity to future-proof your agency’s digital presence. Secure your spot today and be part of this pivotal transformation in digital service delivery.

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