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EPA responsive homepage at tablet size

EPA responsive homepage at tablet size

By Danny Hart

Did you know we have a mobile website? For the last several years, this small version of our full site has provided a limited set of resources that work well on small screens. But it’s always been missing many features we have on the normal home page.

As part of our efforts to make our site work well on both a normal-sized monitor and on a mobile device like a phone or tablet, we’ve been rebuilding our whole website to be responsive. Which means the page changes based on what device you’re using to view it, navigation changes, images scale, content blocks wrap etc. And the home page presented some special challenges.

The responsive design offers you one major advantage over the special mobile site we currently offer: it will provide exactly the same information and links as today’s full-sized design.

We’re almost ready to launch it, but before we do, I wanted to invite you to poke around and let us know what you think. Here are a few points to keep in mind:

  • You’ll see some features that look different on a small screen. That’s intentional. After all, large images don’t work well on many mobile devices. But everything should work, links should be clickable, etc.
  • Where we can, we link to responsive pages from the home page. For example, our news releases have a responsive version that you should see when you follow a home page link. Same goes for our blog posts. But it’s not universal; we haven’t finished redesigning our entire website.
  • In some cases, sets of links are collapsed into bars that open when you tap them. That’s another conscious choice as we thought through how to make things work best on small screens.

With that said, here’s the responsive design. Please share your thoughts in the comments!

 

About the author: Danny Hart is the Acting Director for the Office of Web Communications in the Office of Public Affairs.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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EPA's Mobile Website Preview

By Brett Graham

“Have you ever wondered…?” was a beginning line for Andy Rooney’s monolog on the “60 Minutes” show. But, have you ever wondered what the UV index was while out in the sun? I have often asked myself that exact question during my weekend tennis activities. I can be a bit lazy when it comes to sun protection but when I know the UV index is high (6 or above), I just do it.

How can you find the UV index while you’re stretching at the tennis courts? EPA’s mobile website! Yes, I said MOBILE. The website has actually been around for a while and can be accessed at http://m.epa.gov from your mobile device. If you think that’s great… and I’m sure you do… . I’m here to tell you that EPA is completing its modernization of the mobile website and will soon be available at the above URL. For now, check out our prototype at http://www.epa.gov/webmast1/m . Feedback is always welcome.

You can get the latest environmental news releases, videos of Administrator Jackson on YouTube, and even photos posted on Flickr with your mobile device through our website. The website Apps menu includes links to “My Right to Know” and “Learn about your environment.” The latter includes information on UV Index, AirData, Energy Star Rebates, and My Environment.

Another useful item that I’d like to share is the Contact link at the bottom of the menu. It provides clickable phone numbers for an environmental emergency or any other threats to public health. For those of us who haven’t included the phone number of everyone we know working at the EPA, there’s an Employee Directory under the Contact link as well. I find that very useful.

I almost forgot to mention two of the most popular websites among mobile users: Facebook and Twitter. The new mobile website’s “Connect” page has links to EPA on Facebook and Twitter in the mobile format. Users can follow Administrator Lisa Jackson on Twitter or stay connected with environmental issues and events on EPA Facebook. Visitors to the “Connect” page can also join the Greenversations on EPA’s blog, where guest writers blog about current environmental issues. Or, they can just browse the “Environmental Tips” page to get information on how to conserve energy and other action-oriented tips.

As you can tell, I’m really excited about the new website and all the mobile content that’s available to you. Our team has worked hard to redesign EPA’s mobile website and we welcome your feedback. So, if you haven’t turned on your mobile device and browsed to the new prototype while reading this blog, now’s the time. And, don’t forget the sunblock!

About the author: Brett Graham is an IT Specialist and has been working at EPA since 2000. He’s located at the Office of Environmental Information’s National Computer Center in RTP, NC and is currently on detail to OEI’s Information Access Division.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA Goes Mobile with the Launch of m.epa.gov

About the author: Yolanda DeLilly, an Information Technology Specialist, joined EPA in 1988 and is currently working in the Office of Web Communications.

Back in August of this year I had the privilege of having lunch with Jeffrey Levy, Director of the Office of Web Communications, to discuss me doing a short assignment in his office to design a mobile website for EPA.

screenshot of handheld device showing EPA's mobile Web home pageMy first day, September 9, was a hectic one considering it was the launch of EPA’s new and improved homepage, in which I got pulled in to do some QAQC. In spite of that I still managed to do some research to see if there were any federal government mobile websites already out there in cyber land. I found that there are not a lot of federal government agencies with mobile sites. This made getting started a little difficult.

I did manage to find that usa.gov has a link to its mobile website mobile.usa.gov. This site has an A-Z index of all available state and federal agencies with mobile websites. Then I had an ah-haa moment.

Once I began thinking about what information would be useful on an EPA mobile website I began to build it. To my surprise it was not that difficult to build the site using my web editor. The most difficult part of the building the site was thinking about the beneficial important information.

The really cool thing about creating this mobile site was not only making EPA more visible to people on the go but also knowing that I was creating a site that will go down in history as the first mobile site for EPA.

Here is what you will find on EPA’s mobile site:

  • How to contact EPA
  • Find information by ZIP code
  • EPA news releases
  • Greenversations blog, including the question of the week, and
  • Links to other government mobile websites.

I was able to test the site on a Blackberry and an iPhone and it looks great on both. It would be helpful to hear feedback from all mobile device users on:

  • What you think about the site, and
  • What can we do to improve it.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.