An Outdated Website
USAP.gov is one of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) most important beacons, but it wasn’t serving its users as effectively as it could.
The National Science Foundation’s Office of Polar Programs (OPP) manages the US Antarctic Program (USAP), which manages all US scientific research and related logistics in Antarctica as well as aboard ships in the Southern Ocean. USAP.gov is the primary way for the public to understand the work being done in one of the world’s most vital geographic regions, but its dated design is overdue for a major overhaul.
OPP sought to understand how users—including audiences as diverse as researchers, support personnel, teachers, the general public, and news media—interacted with the sites under the USAP.gov umbrella and how the site could be improved.
Coforma took a human-centered design approach to UX research and to developing design solutions that would help OPP modernize the site content, information architecture, and design system to better align with users’ needs and expectations. We knew that the vision and design of a user-centric, responsive, and aesthetically pleasing site hub was a critical component of the OPP’s connectivity to its user base—and thereby the world.