Donate to Hurricane Recovery

Case Study: Department of Labor

Screenshot of old Department of Labor home page

Screenshot of new DOL home page

We all love the fact that our website is mobile friendly. We also like the fact that we can promote various initiatives and seasonal programs throughout the year and that edits can be made very easily by any of the NCDOL website redesign team members.

Dolores Quesenberry, DOL Director of Communications

The Department of Labor's Website Journey

Getting Started

The NC Department of Labor (DOL) had an outdated website that was not meeting the agency’s user needs. The Digital Services team worked in partnership with DOL to transform their website.

Read about their journey below.

DOL's Wishes for their New Website

  • Update the design
  • Optimize for mobile
  • Help their audience find information
  • Use online forms to move public from phone to online
  • Allow content experts to update their own content
  • Control website publishing in the Communications Office

mobile view of DOL home page

Step 1: Ensure the New Site will Meet Audience Needs

Digital Services led staff from across DOL in two workshops that ensured they were aligned on website organization. Participation from across the agency surfaced the assumptions of all the stakeholders. Starting a website project with consensus on goals and desired outcomes goes a long way to a successful website.

The initial focus was the website audience and their needs. Here are a few of the key audience types: 

Safety Professional

Man with clipboard and hard hat, inspecting a large building

Employee

woman at computer

 

Teen with First Job

teenage boy

Step 2: Getting Organized with a Site Map

For some journeys, wandering can be a joy. But in creating a website, having a site map is absolutely crucial before work begins. Just as important is that the key stakeholders sign off on it, so there are no surprises--and time consuming re-work--later.

Digital Services led staff from across DOL in 2 workshops that ensured they were aligned on website organization, and then used an online "tree test" to verify that the navigation made sense to real people.

We found the workshops to be very helpful. They brought us together and forced us to think about what the end user was seeking when they visited our website. Our team members provided representation from various bureaus and divisions within NCDOL who don’t work together on a daily basis. Having representatives from all sections of our department really helped us identify and prioritize the information we needed to profile on our new website.

Dolores Quesenberry, DOL Director of Communications

Step 3

Migration Maps are the Workhorse of Website Creation

If we had a magic wand, all old website content would simply appear in the optimal place in the new website with the wave of a hand.

Instead of a magic wand, we have to rely on the migration map. This does the hard work of capturing where old content belongs in the new site structure, which content should be retired and where new web content is needed.

Digital Services built a migration map for the Department of Labor. Thus, every person working on the website knew the plan down to the last detail. 

Step 4: Building the Website

training class

For most Digital Commons sites, the client takes part in building their own website, with the help and support of Digital Services staff. DOL approached site building with trepidation, but found it to be quite enjoyable and empowering. The added bonus is, they fully understand how to update and maintain their website going forward. They have all the tools at their fingertips, and need support from Digital Services infrequently.

Dawain Faison really stepped up as we got closer to our launch date to help us fine-tune some last minute web forms and landing pages before going live with the public.

Dolores Quesenberry, DOL Director of Communications