New York Unveils Redesigned Website [Nov. 12, 2014]

Submitted on
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
,
Wall Street Journal

New York state has revamped its long-outdated website, ny.gov, with an emphasis on color, big numbers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Last year, ny.gov and the governor’s website had 7 million page views, officials say. About 20% of traffic to the sites were through mobile devices. But the old site hadn’t been updated in 15 years and featured a drab dark navy background and overly-long menus for visitors to comb through.

The Cuomo administration appointed Rachel Haot as deputy secretary of technology in January, with the task of redesigning the neglected website and modernizing government access to state services. Ms. Haot had team of more than 100 people working on the website redesign over 10 months, she said.

The new ny.gov is an open source website that uses Drupal software and an Acquia cloud host, officials said. Code and Theory, a digital design agency that has led projects for Dr Pepper and Vogue, was a partner in the design, among others.

The guiding principle of the new ny.gov was to “put people first,” Ms. Haot said on Wednesday, shortly before the site’s launch at noon. “Customer service is our primary goal.”

The new site utilizes responsive web design; no matter the size of the screen, the page’s content adjusts to the size of the screen to make it mobile-friendly.

With the old site, Ms. Haot said, “there wasn’t really a clear direction to the user, ‘here is where you start.’ Everything kind of competed for your attention without actually giving you a clear options for where to move forward.”

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