Military OneSource rolled out a fresh new look August 1 in an effort to clean up what the site offers and make it all a little bit easier for users to find.
And they succeeded.
The redesign was first announced in May at a D.C. military spouse town hall event in connection with the annual Military Spouse of the Year awards. Rosemary Williams, who heads the DoD's spouse and family policy office, said that the DoD was finally catching up with current technology trends (something that is hard for them to do thanks to concerns like operational security, she said). They realized that the Military OneSource site was difficult to navigate. And they wanted to clean it up.
So they decided to slash the number of categories the site uses from 23 to six plus a whole menu for counseling options (whew - 23?!) and cut down the number of articles on the site from 1,500 to 600.
So how does it look?
The good: It is much easier to navigate than it used to be. You may not know this, but I am also the Great Overlord of Military.com's Spouse channel. So I know that managing a site and making stuff easy to find is really, really hard. They've done a great job of getting rid of the excess and making it easy to see things in each category that might actually be useful.
The bad: Outside of their counseling options (which are excellent) and employment help (which can be excellent depending on what it is you need) Military OneSource still tends to focus on the most absolutely basic military life advice. And sometimes the advice isn't specific to the military at all. For example, this article could have been written for anyone. If you're going to be the DoD's flagship source for spouse and family help, why not make every single thing you do as specific to the military as possible? We are not people who need basic advice. Our lives are so much more complicated than that -- so doesn't the help go deeper?
What do you think of the newly design OneSource site?