FDA Touts Dynamic Guidance Search
Posted 07 August 2015 | By
Last December, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a new, dynamic search list for its more than 3,000 guidance documents. Now, the agency is touting the new search functionality as a success after seeing traffic to its guidance documents increase more than 600%.
In a post to FDA Voice, the agency's blog, Chris Mulieri, director of web and digital media for the Office of Information Management, discusses the agency's efforts to make the dynamic search possible.
Because it would not be practical for each of FDA's branches to post guidance documents to a single repository, the agency put together a working group to establish the types of search criteria that would be used. Then, each guidance was tagged with metadata, such as subject, date issued, closing date for comments and whether the document is a draft or final version. This metadata enables the search list to be filtered in ascending or descending lists.
Previously, to find guidance documents, an individual would have to navigate to one of 10 locations on FDA's website to begin their search. Now, from FDA.gov, it takes only one click on "Guidance Documents" to get to the search page.
By default, the guidance document list displays all guidance documents in order from newest to oldest. Once a user begins to type in the search field, the list is instantly narrowed to meet the search criteria. For instance, if someone was looking for FDA's recently issued guidance on quality metrics, typing the search term "quality metrics" would instantly bring up the relevant guidance.
FDA says the new guidance search has been a massive success. So far, traffic to FDA's guidance documents has surged from 22,000 page views to more than 136,000 page views in the first quarter of 2014. The agency also said its user satisfaction has increased after launching the new dynamic search function.