CIS upgrading E-Verify Web site

By Meg Beasley
Federal News Radio

In an effort to increase the usability of E-Verify, the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) is redesigning its Web site. Employers will begin using the new interface June 13, 2010.

During a teleconference with reporters today, CIS deputy press secretary Bill Wright says the agency is requiring all users to complete a 15 minute tutorial to ensure they understand the changes and so they will use the new application properly.

The transition to the new site will not affect open cases or existing user IDs and passwords, CIS says. Wright says the redesign is the biggest change to the Web program since its launch in 2004.

E-Verify is a CIS program used to verify employment eligibility and is required for all agencies and contractors.

Write says the agency’s goal is to “make E-Verify easier for employers to use and save them time… [and] to improve accuracy and employer compliance.”

The majority of the changes are in response to user feedback, and Wright says CIS director Alejandro Mayorkas is “committed to making the agency a customer-centric organization and a major part of that commitment is through E-Verify.”

Jason Goodman, a management and program analyst with CIS’s verification division and member of the redesign team, says the changes focused on key aspects of the E-Verify system: design, navigation and language.

Goodman says design modifications include “things that effect the look and feel of the user experience,” such as the homepage layout, refinement of data entry and case result display. The new homepage will save users time by letting them view case statuses and required actions directly.

Users now will enter data in drop-down boxes and segmented fields to reduce errors, which Goodman says are the biggest cause of erroneous employee mismatches.

System navigation is the second target of the redesign. Changes include more direct access to documents such as tutorials and program requirements.

The most significant navigation change is, “E-Verify 1-2-3,” which uses color coded icons and animation to lay out the verification process in three basic steps, letting users to visually track the progress of their case.

CIS also changed the language the system uses to reduce confusion and improve user accessibility. Goodman says the redesign is intended “to make talking about E-Verify as simple as using it.”

Employers can access the user manual from any screen. CIS also has clarified the terminology in response to user reports that the case closure process was confusing. The agency also has updated support materials to reflect the system changes. In addition to the mandatory tutorial, users can access Web manuals, video tutorials and a phone hotline.

Rachel Stevens contributed to this report. Stevens is an intern with Federal News Radio. Meg Beasley is an intern with Federal News Radio.

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