VA.gov website

AdHoc, LLC: VA.gov Team, Senior UX Designer and Lead Researcher

Research and Design, VA.gov website. A cropped screenshot of a VA.gov desktop web page design.

Challenge

When Veterans encountered contextual next step prompts or errors related to accessing a VA.gov health tool, they were unsure how to move forward.

Research

After conducting remote usability testing with Veterans, we learned that contextual messaging, meant to guide them forward, was completely missed.

Design improvements

The team redesigned contextual error messages to included less red to reduce Veterans’ anxiety when encountering them. (These visual updates were also updated in VA.gov’s design system.)

We also rewrote the content of the error messages so that we could walk Veterans through the steps needed to get through a phone tree or fill out a Help Desk request form.

Map of authentication complexity for health tools on VA.gov
Example of a contextual message on VA.gov
Example of a collapsed and expanded version of an error message that includes a path forward for Veterans
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