The results of a new survey of federal websites from Active Standards found that while some websites did better than others, a majority of federal websites make major errors. Usability, accessibility and search engine optimization were the three main areas of focus, and the study found that websites for the Federal Aviation Administration, the CIA and Homeland Security scored the highest benchmarks. The study was performed as a response to President Obama's digital government strategy released earlier this year.

This study was released just after CivicPlus shared its survey showing that state and local websites often don't deliver the content and functionality that users are looking for, indicating that many government agencies at all levels of government have work to do.

In the federal-level survey, search engine optimization was the biggest stumbling block for agencies as a majority of those surveyed received a score of less than 50 percent in that category. For accessibility, meaning the website is designed to be used easily on a wide variety of devices by users with varying disabilities, only 9.3 percent of websites surveyed scored 90 percent or higher, with the majority scoring between 50 and 89 percent. For usability, the study found that 53.5 percent of those surveyed scored between 50 and 89 percent and just 7 percent scored 90 percent and beyond.

Here are the top 10 websites for each category (with their scores out of 100)

Accessibility:

  1. Energy.gov (93)
  2. Federal Aviation Administration (91)
  3. Homeland Security (90)
  4. National Institutes of Health (90)
  5. U.S. Department of Treasury (85)
  6. CIA (84)
  7. Census Bureau (83)
  8. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (82)
  9. Office of Management and Budget (78)
  10. Environmental Protection Agency (76)

     

SEO:

  1. Office of the Comptroller of Currency (96)
  2. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (94)
  3. National Security Agency (88)
  4. CIA (85)
  5. U.S. Department of Agriculture (81)
  6. Federal Aviation Administration (79)
  7. National Cancer Institute (78)
  8. National Institute of Standards and Technology (73)
  9. U.S. Office of Personnel Management (73)
  10. NASA (70)

Usability:

  1. Office of the Comptroller of Currency (97)
  2. Nuclear Regulatory Commission(91)
  3. U.S. National Science Foundation (91)
  4. CIA (87)
  5. National Institute of Standards and Technology(86)
  6. National Security Agency (85)
  7. Library of Congress (84)
  8. Energy.gov (84)
  9. NASA (78)
  10. National Institutes of Health (77)

A full study detailing where a majority of federal websites go wrong can be found here.