A Preview of the Improved ICANN.org: An Information Transparency Initiative (ITI) Update
When I joined ICANN org, many of you told me that it was difficult to find information on our websites. I heard this not only from our community stakeholders, but from ICANN beginners who wanted to participate in our unique multistakeholder model.
I knew then that fixing the findability of our public information was something we needed to do. I also knew that it wouldn’t be easy, it would require significant resources and time, and we would need to build a scalable solution for our entire ecosystem of sites. During the COVID-19 pandemic, now more than ever, we realize the necessity of and reliance on being able to access and find information easily through digital platforms.
Regular Releases to the new ICANN.org
Today, I am sharing with you a preview of the improved ICANN.org.
This preview site gives you an opportunity to see and experiment with some of the content types the ITI team has been working on and allows you to become familiar with the new search experience. More content will be published to this site when it becomes available.
This is only a preview of the new ICANN.org. Some content, search features, filters, and functionality will be unavailable on this preview site, as this site is in active development. The current https://www.icann.org remains the authoritative source for all ICANN content.
Achieving ITI’s Goals
Over ICANN’s 22-year history, we have produced and accumulated thousands of pieces of unstructured public content spread across 38 different public sites. This content continues to grow by up to 30% each year. The org currently surfaces this content through multiple unconnected platforms with differing foundational technologies that are non-scalable, may be vulnerable, and are no longer fit for purpose.
ITI’s objective is to change that. We developed goals to address these problems (approved and supported by the ICANN Board), and it’s a good time to revisit those goals:
Create an integrated ongoing, operational process to govern, preserve, organize, and secure ICANN’s public content.
Implement this governance through a new document management system (DMS), the content foundation for ICANN ecosystem-wide governance.
Surface this content through a new content management system (CMS), which will serve as the backbone for ICANN’s external web properties.
Enable a multilingual user experience (in the U.N. six languages) and aim to adhere to W3C AA accessibility standards.
Upgrade and establish a future-proof and content agnostic technology landscape.
Much of the work listed above is “under the hood”, meaning that we are building and integrating new technical infrastructures from the ground up. The effort involved in integrating two new platforms (the DMS and CMS) via a data publishing pipeline for English and translated content, designing an information architecture, transforming unstructured content into structured content, and making this new foundation extendable for our ecosystem of sites, is complicated. It takes a lot of effort, planning, and trial and error.
We appreciate the community’s and the Board’s encouragement and patience throughout this process, particularly the stakeholders who have participated in usability sessions or posted your input to the ITI feedback site. Our work is not yet over and we rely on your continued help, patience, and support. We can’t do this without you, and we remain dedicated to delivering improved findability of our public information to ensure we are meeting our commitments to accountability and transparency.
This is a work in progress and we want you to visit the preview site and the feedback site, and let us know what you think.