LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - May 13, 2013 - Arkansas.gov, the award-winning Web portal to eGovernment in the state, launched a new design aimed at improving access for mobile devices, enhanced search, and a new feature, “Arkansas Gov2Go,” that provides information via SMS text messaging. Arkansas.gov has ranked in the top 10 of state websites in each of the past seven years, and was awarded first place in the nation in 2011 by the Center for Digital Government.
Optimizing access for mobile devices was a high priority for the redesign, according to Claire Bailey, Chief Technology Officer for the State of Arkansas. “Arkansas has some of the highest rates of mobile usage in the country, so it was critical for us to ensure that the state portal provides the best information regardless of what device the citizen is using.”
A major new feature of the site is Arkansas Gov2Go, a service that responds to questions sent in over text messages. For example, text the question “who is my representative,” and Gov2Go will respond with the name and contact information of the representatives for your address. Users can text the name of any government agency, employee or service and instantly receive the phone number, email address or website link. Gov2Go also provides information about polling locations, important deadlines and allows citizens to set up reminders and sign up for alerts.
“Gov2Go is the nation’s first personal government assistant,” said Phil Billingsley, General Manager of the Information Network of Arkansas. “Arkansas has a very high number of families who don’t have a land line phone or computer at home. We wanted to provide a way for these families to access government information even if they don’t have Internet access.” Gov2Go allows users to configure alerts and reminders over email as well.
The portal’s enhanced Smart Search connects to several databases simultaneously, and a unique scoring system summarizes the results on a single page. The search also ranks some results higher based on the user’s geographical location. “We’ve found that nearly 70 percent of visitors to Arkansas.gov use the search feature first,” Billingsley said.
The redesigned website features a new “vertical scroll design” that makes content easier to explore, especially on mobile devices, and intersperses content with beautiful photographs from around the state. The site includes many of the same features popular in the previous designs: mapping, geo-location widgets, social media integration, Text4Help and mobile applications.
Arkansas.gov is home to over 1,200 online services for state and local government, and conducts over two million secure eGovernment transactions per year. The site redesign, valued at more than $180,000, was completed at no cost to taxpayers utilizing a self-funded model with Arkansas’ eGovernment partner, the Information Network of Arkansas.
Arkansas.gov is the official website of the state of Arkansas and a service of the Information Network of Arkansas offering more than 1,100 state and local online services. The Information Network of Arkansas is a public-private partnership between the state of Arkansas and the Arkansas Information Consortium that helps state government entities Web-enable their information services. Little Rock-based AIC is part of eGovernment firm NIC’s (NASDAQ: EGOV) family of companies.
NIC Inc. (NASDAQ: EGOV) is the nation's leading provider of official government portals, online services, and secure payment processing solutions. The company's innovative eGovernment services help reduce costs and increase efficiencies for government agencies, citizens, and businesses across the country. NIC provides eGovernment solutions for more than 3,500 federal, state, and local agencies across the United States. Additional information is available at http://www.egov.com.