Mobilizing USCIS

USCIS MobilizingU.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service continues its focus on customer service with the introduction of a website mobile design. The site, which was introduced at the end of February, adds access and functionality to mobile and tablet users.

According to a USCIS release on the mobile design, the introduction of the news site correlates to the rise in the popularity of highly portable devices. In the last year, around 30 percent of visitors accessed the site through a phone or tablet. Even more notably, more than half the visitors to the agency’s Spanish site used a mobile device.

Mobile site features include:

  • “Hamburger” icons for key navigational links as well as collapsible segments for easier viewing and navigation on small screens
  • Bottom-of-the-page links as opposed to left- or right-column links
  • “Stacked” table layouts for vertical scrolling as opposed to horizontal scrolling

As is intended with all mobile designs, the site focuses on allowing functionality over the confines of a small screen.

It means that it’s easier than ever to access the trusted immigration information you need,” according to the USCIS release.

The mobile design is just one leg of the agency’s tech-driven user experience improvements. Last summer, USCIS introduced Twitter Office Hours. With this, immigrant followers of @USCIS get the opportunity to receive personalized direction on immigration process questions by using #AskUSCIS. Twitter Office Hours, which USCIS still describes as a pilot program, offers assistance with filing as well as process expectations after filing.

Late last year, USCIS launched self-help assistant Emma. Emma, named after poet Emma Lazarus, whose words are inscribed on the base holding the Statue of Liberty base, is designed to streamline common questions away from USCIS call centers by providing customers with available web links to information. Currently, the virtual assistant is available only in English. Early next year, USCIS plans to introduce a Spanish-language version of the service.

Where mobility is concerned, USCIS also plans continuing updates to its E-Verify mobile responsive look. Officials say changes to the site are underway as the agency incorporates suggestions based on user feedback through the E-Verify Listens community.

User feedback for potential changes are also part of the mobile design plans. “As always, we count on your feedback to help improve our site as we work to improve it more,” according to the release. “Tell us what you think in an email to uscis-feedback@uscis.dhs.gov.”