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State website receives national recognition

State website receives national recognition

September 18, 2012

Gov. Nathan Deal recognized Georgia as the recipient of the 2012 Innovation Award given by the Center for Digital Government. The award, presented on Sept. 13, acknowledges outstanding government portals and websites based on innovation, functionality and efficiency.

Georgia’s new website, launched in May, offers friendlier navigation, greater usability and more robust search functions to access information from more than 115 state agencies.

“Georgia is receiving this national recognition for its efforts to improve online delivery of government information and services,” said Deal. “This award signifies that we are utilizing the latest technology and creative approaches in an effort to better serve our citizens.”

Georgia’s new site features several innovations:

  • GeorgiaGov is the first state portal in the country to be powered on Drupal, an open-source content management system that runs both the White House and House of Representatives websites.
  • It's the first state portal to use Responsive Web Design, a technique that adapts the layout of the site based on the device accessing it.
  • The site’s “Popular Topics" page features information on the 50 most popular topics according to past search data and information from 1-800-Georgia, the state's call center. These pages provide basic facts, frequently asked questions and links to common online services and forms.
  • The "This Week in Georgia" blog highlights new and noteworthy happenings in state government.
  • Improved city and county government pages now feature interactive maps and local contact information.

“Digital technology has fundamentally changed the way people interact with their government,” said Executive Director of the Center for Digital Government Todd Sander. “The website gives us the ability to make new things possible and accomplish old things more efficiently.”   

GeorgiaGov receives an average of 1.2 million page views a month. Georgia will complete the migration of over 54 state agency websites to Drupal by fall 2012. The website offers a way to ensure consistent layout, design and user experience, without taking away from each agency’s individual brand. The new system will save the state $4.6 million.

The redesign project took 18 months to implement, and was planned and managed by the Georgia Technology Authority, which worked with several vendors on the project: Phase2 Technology, Atlanta-based MediaCurrent and Acquia.

GTA has also worked with agencies to develop policies and guidelines to enforce and promote the best practices in web design, content, accessibility and social media.

The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute focused on information, technology, policies and practices in state and local government. It is located in Folsom, Calif.