Military Advantage

VA Websites Get Major Redesign

Photo courtesy of pexels

If you've visited va.gov in the last few days you may have noticed some changes. 

The website, along with the pages for all the business lines, have been redesigned to make them more user friendly, according to a press release from the VA.

You may have trouble finding the information you need, since everything has been redesigned. Luckily, there are still some old pages floating around, though the old stuff will probably be redesigned soon.

For example, the GI Bill page has been moved from https://benefits.va.gov/gibill/ to https://www.va.gov/education/

the compensation page has moved from https://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/ to https://www.va.gov/disability/,

and the healthcare page has moved from https://www.va.gov/health/ to https://www.va.gov/health-care/.

According to the press release, VA used feedback from more than 5,000 veterans, servicemembers, their families, caregivers and survivors to come up with a design that is more user-friendly.

The Good

Apparently, the VA actually listened to the users this time. The redesign actually makes it easy to do most things you go to the VA website to do.

The new design is big on personalization, the main page has links like:

  • refill and track your prescriptions
  • apply for a home loan Certificate of Eligibility
  • apply for education benefits
  • file for a VA disability increase

The VA finally got rid of vets.gov, visiting that website now takes you directly to the va.gov page. This is good, it was pretty confusing before. 

The Bad

The whole redesign is supposed to be personalized, however when I signed in to the main VA page and then attempted to view my benefits I had to sign in to eBenefits again. Hopefully this will be fixed in the future, but having first-hand knowledge on how VA security and IT systems work I wouldn't hold my breath.

If you are looking for things like the compensation rates, they are pretty hard to find, but of course military.com has them for you in an easy-to-understand format.

The Ugly

Really not a lot of ugly on the new website, it displays pretty good on mobile devices, and cuts out a lot of the right hand and left hand menus that drive me crazy when I'm trying to find information.

At first glance, the new design may appear familiar, it looks fairly similar to the eBenefits website

The redesign has also added some neat stuff. For example, when I try to find the nearest facility while using the website on my phone it uses my location and will even load google maps with driving directions or let me call the local clinic by just tapping my screen. Welcome to modern times!

The Conclusion

While the redesign of VA's website will be confusing at the start, it will be better than the old one, they got it right this time.

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