Pennsylvania’s website overhaul brings ‘humanizing’ experience

Officials said new accessibility features and a common look and feel across agency websites will make it easier to access content and do business with the state. website
(Colin Wood / Scoop News Group)

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro and the state’s digital experience office on Wednesday unveiled a new design for the state’s website and plans to revamp all agency websites in the coming months.

Shapiro and the Commonwealth Office of Digital Experience, or CODE PA, said the new websites are the first phase of “a Commonwealth-wide digital transformation.” Updated designs are visible on the homepage, and the webpages of the governor’s office, lieutenant governor’s office and human services department, which, officials said, are some of the most visited pages.

By early next year, the state’s remaining 64 agencies, officials said, will also have redesigned webpages with the same consistent look and feel.

CODE PA Executive Director Bry Pardoe told StateScoop the websites will make it easier for residents and businesses to find what they need. Previously, the state hosted many sites linked together, while the new design includes a navigation tab that links state services, a search bar and an agency directory.


Pardoe said the website also has improved language access and is compliant with accessibility standards, which she said was a priority for CODE PA because one in four adults in the U.S. has a disability.

“When you come to the site, you can search — if you’re looking for services — and just type in ‘health insurance,’ instead of needing to know that perhaps that’s administered by DHS, or you can go to a services directory, and sort out information of services that might be relevant for you,” Pardoe said. “So, it’s just humanizing end-to-end the experience and how people will connect with government online.”

Pardoe said the state will add more agencies to the directory as more agency websites migrate to the new design — and it will eventually feature more services.

She said CODE PA will also evaluate how the new design can be applied to the state’s 2,000-plus digital applications.

The overhaul is part of the Shapiro administration’s larger push to modernize its digital services. The governor created CODE PA in April of 2023 and in January it launched PA Navigate, a website that connects residents to agencies and community groups for access to resources. It also launched a website for appealing denied health insurance claims.


“We really hit the ground running at the beginning of the administration last January, and have not slowed down since. So I would say the last 18 months have been a really heavy focus on the information architecture, creating a scalable design system,” Pardoe said.

Pardoe said the new design was informed by hundreds of hours of research and listening sessions conducted alongside Pennsylvania First Lady Lori Shapiro, but she added that there’s still more to do.

“We need to continue to make enhancements,” she said, “and learn how people are engaging with this site now that it’s live, so that every site that goes live over time will continue to benefit from that feedback, and our roadmap can continue to grow so that the website that we launched today can evolve over time to continue to meet the needs of Pennsylvanians. That will inevitably change the moment something goes live.”

Keely Quinlan

Written by Keely Quinlan

Keely Quinlan reports on privacy and digital government for StateScoop. She was an investigative news reporter with Clarksville Now in Tennessee, where she resides, and her coverage included local crimes, courts, public education and public health. Her work has appeared in Teen Vogue, Stereogum and other outlets. She earned her bachelor’s in journalism and master’s in social and cultural analysis from New York University.

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