The state of Arkansas has made a redesigned beta version of its official website, Arkansas.gov, available to the public for trial and feedback. Citizens can try out the new faster-and-simpler site at beta.arkansas.gov and provide their suggestions using a link at the bottom of the home page.
“Arkansas is continuing its long history of innovation in service delivery with the new state website design and Arkansas government’s first chatbot,” said Secretary of State Mark Martin, whose office works with Information Network of Arkansas (INA), the state’s digital government services partner, to provide oversight to Arkansas.gov. Martin also serves as chair of the INA Board. “The redesign was prompted by feedback from users, who said they wanted to quickly get to the information and services they needed, do what they came to do and get on with their day. Because government exists to serve people, the voice of the citizen should be represented in all services – especially through this gateway to state government. Input from Arkansans will help ensure the new site delivers government services in the ways people want to receive them.”
The redesigned Arkansas.gov uses easy-to-read text and places links to the most commonly accessed government services up front. A new search engine consolidates information for more than 850 services from multiple state, local and municipal agencies, presenting them in a conversational way.
Content is written for consumption by search engines, making it more likely that people searching for terms like “find tech jobs in Arkansas” or “how do I pay child support” will arrive at the state portal and get the context and resources they need. Curated information will be continuously updated and refined based on user feedback.
When it launches in the fall, Arkansas.gov will use a chatbot to provide faster Help Center assistance. Initial content for the bank of automated responses to citizen questions came from extensive review of queries made through the Arkansas.gov service desk and social media. Chatbot responses will be expanded and refined each quarter based on ongoing analysis of citizens’ requests.
Through the new site, Arkansans will continue to have access to Gov2Go, a personal digital government assistant that allows them to plan their government tasks for the year, receive deadline reminders and access shortcuts to complete those responsibilities online.
The state seeks citizen input on beta.arkansas.gov through mid-August.