It hadn’t happened in more than 10 years and was completely overdue, but my team at the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) accomplished the impossible: reinventing and re-launching the agency’s website. It was a near two year project – completed internally without a single vendor – involving every reach of DPH and including direct input from more than 150 employees, agency partners and the public. The result is an easier, more refined and modern web experience for some 8,000 people who visit DPH online daily.
We pored over analytical reports for months and the resulting snapshot revealed a path to something far better. Still, getting here wasn’t easy at all considering the size and bulk of what existed before.
Until now, web visitors had surfed and sifted through an astonishing 80,000 web pages – and those pages linked to more than 250,000 reports, documents and images in what had grown over a decade to become perhaps the largest, bulkiest state government website in Georgia. The site had to be entirely scrapped to create something new.
The completely redesigned website deploys one-click content translation in five languages, far simpler navigation, and is a complete departure from the old site, which was maintained with no content management system and required advanced web code authoring to update.
As our webmaster says, it was the equivalent of manufacturing the paper before you could write a message.
The development of the new dph.ga.gov was guided by three main goals: root the site in preventive health care, connect visitors with the information they desire in three clicks or less, and develop simpler ways for users to interact with DPH.
What Georgia has now is a truly living and relevant website where meeting our goals will be a continuous, department-wide experience. We’ve gone from just one person with the ability to update content and we’ve extended that ability to dozens of ‘content creators’ spanning every program area – and that’s the key.
Kudos to the team!