The federal government is gaining traction in the mobile application arena with the launch of a redesigned version of the USA.gov and GobiernoUSA.gov mobile apps galleries on Wednesday. The new design, developed by the General Services Administration, makes it easier for users to access apps and mobile sites via their preferred smartphone, tablet or operating system.
It’s called Responsive Design, and it’s intended to connect with the public in many new ways. The design also presents content based on the device, providing device-specific apps for BlackBerries, Android, iPhone and iPad users. And it’s a road map for other agencies embracing mobile apps.
The mobile apps galleries feature more than 120 free apps and mobile sites from various federal agencies in English and Spanish. Government information services and apps such as USAJobs app, BMI Calculator, IRS2Go app and more are available to users with mobile devices.
GSA is one of the first federal agencies to build in responsive design and customize content based on a user’s device.
Meghan Daly, web content manager at USA.gov, said the GSA worked with in-house graphic designers, content managers and accessibility specialists along with two main contractors -Altum Inc.,and their subcontractor, Mobomo to redesign the two-year old site.
The cost of the redesign was not immediately available because it’s part of a bigger GSA mobile budget, she told Breaking Gov.
The redesign comes at an opportune time as every agency in the federal government gears up to becomes mobile and reaches out to an ever increasing mobile public.
“Whatever device a person is using, the site automatically works with the device,” she said.
And when new devices come onto the market, they will be added to the GSA Mobile apps with a “few tweaks on the back end, and no need to redesign,” she added.
The apps galleries were developed on a REST API, a programming device that can be leveraged by other agencies to develop their own mobile apps galleries.
GSA launched its original mobile apps gallery in July 2010 and has seen a steady growth in traffic from the public.
The most popular mobile apps available in the gallery is the body mass index from NIH which has received 170,000 visits between July 2010 and March 2012, Daily said.
Other popular sits include USAJobs which received 25,000 during that same time frame and Product Recalls which received 19,000.
The redesign is part of the federal government’s ongoing effort to make information more accessible to all Americans, the GSA said in a press release.