The New York state government released an overhauled version of the state’s website on Wednesday in what amounts to its first major redesign in 15 years.
The new NY.gov makes it easier to find a job, start a new company, attend a career fair or get certified as a minority- or woman-owned business (MWBE). It also streamlines the process of signing up for relevant services, such as unemployment benefits for those searching for work and disability insurance for those in need.
The site aims to take a customer-centric approach with improved design, navigation, search and accessibility from any device thanks to a responsive design that focuses on providing easier access to the information the state’s residents use the most.
“The new NY.gov puts information and resources at the fingertips of New Yorkers as never before, reflecting the Governor’s commitment to service, transparency and efficiency,” said Rachel Haot, the state’s chief digital officer. “This is an important milestone in our innovation Roadmap for New York State,” she said, crediting the collaboration of the technology community and “the partnership of hundreds across State government in making it a reality.”
Haot, who helped New York City revitalize its digital presence while working for former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, joined the state government in January with one of her tasks to be to fix the outdated site.
With Haot overseeing the project, the state dedicated about 100 different employees over the past 10 months to revitalize the site using Drupal software built on top of Acquia’s cloud, and partnered with Code and Theory, a digital design agency that has previously worked on projects for Dr Pepper and Vogue.
The website features specially designed pages on the top 40 service requests from the public, including topics such as starting a business and how to obtain different certifications. It also features a customized section that highlights local resources such as emergency alerts, transportation updates, local jobs, farmers markets and attractions aimed at helping the state’s economy.
The redesign also includes a new content management system that allows the communications team to more quickly publish information, and the deployment of a navigation bar across all state government websites to streamline and enhance deepen the user experience of digital government.
The new NY.gov is more accessible to all – by providing translations into 70 languages, offering higher contrast and bigger font size, and surpassing Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
The site also makes a point to highlight the efforts of the Cuomo administration using large graphics to show the number of jobs the New York governor’s team has helped bring to the state and other high-profile projects. The redesign launch comes a little more than a week after Cuomo was re-elected to serve another four-year term.
The site received about 7 million visitors last year, about 20 percent came from users on mobile devices. The state hopes to see that number now increase with the efforts put into building a responsive site.