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How Federalist and USWDS 2.0 helps agencies become compliant

Here at 18F, we understand the importance of federal compliance - whether through recent acts, policies or standards, we make sure our products and services include standard compliance measures so that you don’t have to do this step yourself. This is particularly important for public government websites and web projects.

Two month ago the U.S. Web Design System 2.0 (USWDS) launched exciting new features including improved accessibility and flexible layouts. This is great news for content editors and website managers. In today’s post, we’d like to show you how you, your team, or your agency can get started with USWDS 2.0 using 18F’s Federalist platform.

USWDS is a user interface framework and guidance to help government teams design and build accessible mobile-friendly websites. Federalist is a publishing platform that provides agencies the technical infrastructure to quickly develop and publish websites. Federalist helps agencies launch their websites quickly by using pre-designed templates where agencies can pick and choose which style will best illustrate their message. These templates also follow the guidance of USWDS 2.0. Think of USWDS as an instruction manual and Federalist as your toolbox. Together, you have the necessary tools, infrastructure, and support needed to get your fully compliant government websites up and running.

Federalist teaches you how to use templates. Then, for the rest of the process, here’s how the platform maximizes compliance for you:

  • ATO: To launch a new government site, you will need ATO (Authority to Operate) approval, and the process of getting an ATO approved on your own can take several months. Federalist has an ATO approved by GSA which you can use for your websites.
  • Security Compliance: When launching a federal government website, the first hurdle an agency encounters is ensuring there are good security procedures in place. Federalist is equipped with built-in security compliance baked in and is backed by cloud.gov, a FedRAMP Authorized platform that manages security needs efficiently.
  • Growth: It’s very easy to launch prototypes with the platform. If your site grows in complexity, Federalist will grow with you. One project example currently using Federalist is Department of Interiors’ Revenue Data. This project launched as a small site and has evolved into a full-scale data visualization portal.
  • Technical Support: Our team of experts are here to help and can provide your office support when making advanced changes.

Here at 18F, we are excited to see how Federalist and USWDS continue to grow and collaborate to help government websites become more secure, accessible, and of course, compliant. If you’re interested in learning about the Federalist platform, you can reach out to us here or via Slack on #federalist-public.

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