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Federal Judiciary Launches Enhanced Website

May 15, 2010

Contact: Beth Grabo, 202-502-2600

The Federal Judiciary’s website, www.uscourts.gov, today unveils a host of enhancements.

U.S. Courts

The site has been redesigned to make it more attractive, accessible, and useful to its diverse audience of users. The improvements further the website’s mission of increasing public interest, awareness, and understanding of the federal court system and its functions, and to serve as a source for disseminating Federal Judiciary information to the public.

The website is a primary source of information on the structure, function, and operations of the federal courts. It plays an important role in how the Judiciary communicates to the public, with useful and timely information for students, news media, attorneys, academics, government officials, associations, and others – both in the United States and worldwide.

The new design reflects the input of a wide range of users who expressed their needs, preferences and interests during usability testing and focus groups.

Among the objectives of the redesign are a more dynamic website that can integrate emerging web technologies, such as RSS, podcasts, and multimedia.

Among the enhancements:

  • Email Delivery Service: Interested users can subscribe to uscourts.gov email updates. When Judiciary news releases, Newsroom updates, notifications of new publications, emergency notifications and significant content updates are made, a notification is sent directly to the subscribers’ email addresses. Each subscriber can choose to receive alerts on topics of particular interest or alerts for all updates. Subscriptions are free, and can be canceled or updated at any time.

  • Multimedia – video, podcasts, photos, YouTube Channel: Videos have been available on uscourts.gov for several years, with a focus on civic education and highlighting news. Recently, the focus was expanded to feature two informational video series – Bankruptcy Basics and Working for the Federal Judiciary. Photo slide shows have been added, to include and illustrate such topics as naturalization ceremonies, educational outreach programs, and Judiciary news.

    The website will feature expanded use of multimedia, including a link to the Judiciary’s YouTube Channel, www.YouTube.com/uscourts, which is a joint initiative of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts and the Federal Judicial Center.

  • Widgets: A widget is a portable chunk of computer programing code that can be embedded in a Web page to add dynamic content. For example, an organization could take a widget from uscourts.gov and install it in their website homepage to receive continuous Federal Judiciary  news updates directly.

  • Read-aloud service: Web text is read aloud for users who find it difficult to read online, a useful tool for those who have difficulty reading or are mildly visually impaired. This free program also allows users to download portable files from uscourts.gov and listen to it later.