State’s Official Website is Ready to Serve Arkansans
Arkansas now has a freshly redesigned website where citizens can go to quickly and easily access government information and online services. And when citizens need assistance, a new chatbot will make that quick and easy, too.
“As an Arkansan, I appreciate the speed and simplicity of the new Arkansas.gov, and as a government official, I am proud to continue our state’s legacy of innovation in digital government,” 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 efforts made to solicit feedback from citizens demonstrates our commitment to provide faster and simpler access to government services.”
The state released the new Arkansas.gov in 2017 in “beta” and called for public comments and suggestions on the new design. Nearly 80 citizens shared feedback, which was overwhelmingly positive, including: “The site is really self-explanatory. Short and simple the way it should be.”
Key new features include:
- Customer service chatbot to provide faster Help Center assistance. With it, Arkansans can get instant answers to hundreds of questions about government services by simply clicking on the “Start a Conversation” button. The bank of automated responses to citizen questions came from extensive review of queries made through the Arkansas.gov service desk and social media channels and will be frequently updated. Conversations that start in the chatbot can be continued over email, SMS or the web. Since its 2017 beta launch, the chatbot has handled more than 4,500 conversations with Arkansans.
- Addition of county government pages. Citizens will now find it easier to access information about local government and online services provided at the county level.
- Updated state directory. This will be an ongoing effort to make sure Arkansans can find the most up-to-date information about state agencies at Arkansas.gov.
- New design. The minimalist, down-to-business design uses easy-to-read text and prominently placed links to the most commonly accessed government services.
- Friendlier search engine. A new search engine consolidates information for more than 850 services from multiple state, local and municipal agencies, presenting them in a conversational way with a more personal touch.
- Gov2Go enhancements. Citizens can access Gov2Go, a platform that already helps more than 400,000 Arkansans plan and track their personal government tasks like renewing car tags or paying property taxes. New features allow citizens to make electrician license renewal payments using stored information, sign in securely with a fingerprint and access national services including Amber Alerts, elections, and federal park passes.
Arkansas.gov has received industry recognition repeatedly over the years for its citizen-centric approach. The Center for Digital Government (CDG) alone has consistently recognized Arkansas as one of the best digital government states in the country for more than a decade in its Best of the Web competition, placing third in 2009 and 2014, second in 2010, first in 2011 and 2015. In 2017, Arkansas placed third in the CDG’s inaugural Government Experience Awards competition.