The White House website has come a long way during the presidency of Barack Obama. And today, its developers are celebrating another milestone: last night, the site's main landing page was updated with a responsive design that automatically optimizes its layout and content for whatever device you're visiting from. "This is a landmark change in a series of improvements to our online platforms to make them more accessible, user-friendly, and in line with modern best practices," wrote Ashleigh Axios, who leads development of WhiteHouse.gov, in a blog post. "And this is just the first phase in revamping the White House homepage. We will continue to iterate on the design and features, rolling out enhancements along the way.
The White House has been moving to responsive pages over time
This change has been gradual; the White House points out that it's already published responsive "features" that spotlight events like the State of the Union, and it also previously updated the biography pages of all US presidents to make them work nicely across PCs, smartphones, and tablets. "This section-by-section approach to upgrading WhiteHouse.gov lets us prioritize improving parts of the site that will be most valuable to you, enables us to roll out new features quicker and more frequently, and allows us to receive and incorporate your feedback along the way to help guide our efforts," wrote Axios. "The processes we're using now are known as 'iterative design' and 'agile development,' and reflect a larger user-centric effort within the Federal government to transform the ways we design, build, and deliver technology."
For reference, the below image is what the White House website looked like on January 19th, 2009 — the final full day of President George W. Bush's term. The design underwent a significant change once Obama assumed office, but has continued to evolve in the years since.