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ICANN.ORG Redesign Welcomes the Global Visitor

27 February 2012
By Scott Pinzon

Our long-planned redesign of ICANN.ORG just went live today, 27 February.

The new information architecture arranges the resources that ICANN.ORG offers in a more logical arrangement. More than 38,000 pages and files were carefully examined and migrated into the best locations following extensive consultation with the ICANN community, including:

  1. Nearly 300 responses to the site survey conducted by The Revere Group
  2. More than two dozen in-depth interviews with SO and AC members
  3. A series of live briefings (with Q&A) across two ICANN public meetings
  4. At least three briefings to Board Directors (via the Public Participation Committee)
  5. Two public webinars requesting input and concerns

On the home page, we’ve streamlined the main navigation from ten tabs, to six. When you’re seeking a file or page on our site, we hope we’ve ended the era of making you guess whether we considered it a Resource, a Document, or “In Focus.”

Some of the new features on the site include the following:

  • All visitors can now move directly from ICANN’s home page to any SO or AC site in one click.
  • The latest Board activity and the most recent topics open for Public Comment now show on the home page.
  • The new Stay Connected bar provides site visitors with easier social media integration to ICANN than we’ve had before. When you click to expand Stay Connected, you’ll see a new resource called Planet ICANN. This feed aggregates almost every RSS and Twitter feed from ICANN in one ever-updating resource, providing a one-stop tool for monitoring ICANN broadly.
  • Across HTML portions of the site, you can now hover your cursor over that puzzling acronym, and see what it stands for pop up as a “tool tip.”
  • ICANN’s site can now auto-detect when it is accessed via a mobile device such as a tablet or smart phone, and present a view specifically tailored for the visitor’s type of device.
  • On the home page’s multi-lingual bar, you can click your chosen language to immediately see an aggregation of all materials available in that language. The most recent documents top the list.

We developed those last two features with the global audience very much in mind. There are two billion Internet users on a planet of seven billion people. The next billion users are storming onto the Internet largely from developing countries, and predominantly by phone. More than one analyst has predicted that by 2015, more phones than computers will be connected to the Internet. We hope the new ICANN.ORG mobile views and improved multi-lingual access signals to such users that they are welcome, even encouraged, to participate in ICANN’s multi-stakeholder community.

Note that the changes affect, quite literally, ICANN.ORG, and not other ICANN sites such as gnso.icann.org, alac.icann.org, the wiki sites, and so on. We know we have plenty more to do, and more improvements are on the way across 2012.

If you’d like to provide feedback or ask questions about the new look and feel, please feel free to email communications@icann.org.

I also thank the community for your patience, support, and candid feedback during the careful process that brought us to this milestone. We’re far from done, but I hope you’ll see the newly redesigned site as a significant improvement in making ICANN’s work more understandable and inclusive.


Scott Pinzon