Public invited to submit feedback on the fresh, new look of Arkansas.gov
The state of Arkansas recently launched a redesigned beta version of its official website, Arkansas.gov, and made it available to the public for review and feedback. Citizens can experience the new, faster-and-simpler site at https://beta.arkansas.gov/ and provide their helpful feedback at the bottom of the screen.
“The goal of the website redesign was to ensure an inclusive user experience across all platforms for every potential user,” said Yessica Jones, Department of Information Systems (DIS) director, and INA Board Chair. “Every element of the site was carefully considered from the perspective of the user and specifically designed to create the best possible experience.”
The newly refreshed Arkansas.gov is an evolution of the completely redesigned version launched in 2018. The site provides curated government services from disparate state, local and municipal agencies and presents them in a people-first, conversational way that helps Arkansans understand how to do certain things that require multiple government services or coordination with different agencies. Curated content, a minimal aesthetic, simple navigation showcasing a powerful search engine, an intelligent chatbot, and live chat provide citizens with a straightforward path to complete what they came to accomplish.
The most visible innovation of the reimagined Arkansas.gov is its intentionally streamlined design that aims to get citizens to the information they seek as quickly as possible. Fewer features mean fewer database and web service calls, enabling the site to load completely in less than two seconds on computers and mobile devices. Responsive design makes the transition from desktop to mobile device consistent and seamless.
The new design has also evolved to showcase the state’s natural beauty and improve the experience for visually impaired users. The refreshed design features a subtly changing background color with illustrations of Arkansans enjoying the beauty of our natural state. Findings from an Arkansas.gov usability study conducted with middle school students from the Arkansas School for the Blind in February 2019 led to typography and visual contrast modifications that improved accessibility.
The Arkansas.gov chatbot that was introduced in 2018 has also evolved with machine learning, using intents (suggestions) made by the chatbot and feedback from citizens. New common questions and improved answers have been added throughout the year to enhance the chatbot response quality. Over 11,000 conversations have been initiated by citizens with the chatbot in the past year. Nearly 50% of these conversations were resolved without the need for any human intervention. This self-help approach is making it quicker and easier for citizens to get the answers they need when they need them.
These technological evolutions, along with the improved design features, enhances the user experience and offers a better depiction of our state as the naturally beautiful state it is.