FDA Unveils New Mobile-Friendly Website Design and New Features

Posted 18 November 2013 | By Alexander Gaffney, RAC 

Visit the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) website today, and you're likely to see some changes. Visit it on your smartphone, however, and you're likely to understand just how big the changes really are.

Changes to FDA's website were first noticed early on 18 November 2013 by Regulatory Focus, and were confirmed by multiple FDA representatives as being part of a larger overhaul. At present, the website appears to be undergoing a methodical update affecting various parts of the site at different times. The website will be fully changed over by Tuesday, 19 November 2013, FDA representatives implied.

FDA last updated its website in December 2011, when it unveiled a radically new version that streamlined many of the existing pages and introduced new measures meant to bolster transparency, such as its FDA Voice blog.

By contrast, the new overhaul appears to largely keep existing content where it was previously situated-welcome news for anyone not wishing to update tracking software or RSS feeds.

But the biggest change of all is readily apparent when viewing FDA's website in a mobile browser, such as on a smartphone. Previously, the site was not mobile-optimized, and rendered much as it would on a much larger browser. The new web design contains mobile-friendly elements that allow it to be read much more easily on mobile devices.

Also evident is a new color scheme based on a dark blue color palate-again considerably easier to read relative to the agency's previous bright-blue color base.

Other changes include a menu button on the site's main navigation bar that opens up a "popular content" section containing information on the latest recalls, a button to report adverse events, MedWatch safety alerts, consumer updates and contact information for the agency.

As of the time of posting, not all sections of the website have been updated, though the agency's most public-facing asset-the www.fda.gov homepage-has been.

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