This past Veterans Day, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie introduced the brand new VA.gov.
The VA gathered the feedback from thousands of Veterans, service members, their families, caregivers, and survivors, and the VA discovered what most already knew. Many said they had a frustrating experience, encountering a complicated collection of websites, forms, logins, and tools in a hard to navigate atmosphere. Customers struggled to find what they needed, and the VA listened to their customer. It was time for an update on ease and accessibility.
“Veterans, their families, caregivers, and our many customers have successful online transactions in their day-to-day lives,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “They should expect the same exceptional digital experience when coming to VA. Our customers will receive a more simple and intuitive experience when accessing our online front door – the new VA.gov.”
The new VA.gov wants to make information simpler to access. They focused on the homepage. The homepage includes the top tasks that the majority of VA’s customer’s need, the ability to login to receive a personalized experience and easy to understand plain language content. Once logged in, customers will find a dashboard summarizing the current status of services they receive from VA, whether those services are provided by the Veterans Health Administration – such as prescription refills or the Veterans Benefits Administration – such as claim status. Customers can also update their contact information in one location rather than visiting multiple VA websites or making numerous phone calls.
Within the first week of the launch, VA.gov:
- Had 498,000 unique users visit an average of 4.6 pages per session for an average session duration of 4:49
- Handled 145,701 successful login events from DS Logon, MyHealtheVet and ID.me account holders
- Supported 80,900 claims and appeals status lookups
- Received 9,100 education benefits forms
- Received 3,700 healthcare enrollment application forms (10-10EZ)
- Processed 10,400 profile updates (e.g., updates to mailing address, email, phone)
VA is demonstrating that it is possible for Federal agencies to give the American people the online experience they expect and deserve.
If you have not been to the new VA.gov check it out. The redesigned VA.gov seeks to simplify the users’ experience. Again, the focus is linking users to nine benefit hubs that cover, “20 things that people are trying to do the majority of the time.” Give it a spin and let us know what you think!
Brett is a retired U.S. Air force Master Sergeant of twenty years and calls Orlando, Florida his home nowadays. He is a husband to his wife Catherine and proud father to twin boys Mason and Cannon. You can contact him at [email protected].