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Texas Overhauls Website in Bid to Improve User Experience

Last week, the Texas Department of Information Resources announced the relaunch of the state’s official website, The new design offers scalability for periods of high demand and a user-friendly layout.

Closeup of the Capitol building in Austin, Texas.
Shutterstock/CrackerClips Stock Media
The relaunch of was announced last week, with a new design that constituents can access on any device.

Endi Silva, the director of program development for the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR), said the redesign is intended to do two main things: improve user experience and exemplify the department’s commitment to digital transformation — an effort required by Section 2054.571 of the state government code.

The new website is hosted through Amazon Web Services, enabling capacity adjustment to serve constituents in the case of unexpected emergencies and the influx of demand on government that comes with these types of events.

“We were definitely planning this launch before COVID-19, but things like COVID-19 pandemics [and] natural disasters really showcase the need for that flexibility and that scalability when we have an influx of people trying to access government services,” Silva said.

She noted that there are typically 33,000 visits to the site per day, but the increased focus on search engine optimization with the new design seeks to further expand the visibility and reach.

According to a state press release, there have been over 240 million site visits since its creation in 2000 as It would later become in 2010.

The website offers over 800 official government services to users, and now incorporates new features and added information, including 30 new pages of content — available in both English and Spanish for increased accessibility, said Silva. This content ranges from COVID-19 resources to information directed at individuals moving to the state.

“We completely overhauled the information architecture,” she stated. “To better provide information and services to Texas, we restructured all the information on the website.”

The new design seeks to improve the organization from the prior version, which incorporated the single-page layout. As constituents have come to expect more services from the website, Silva says the multiple-page layout improves the ability to navigate.

The redesign also implements a new content management system intended to simplify the process of maintaining and adding content as needed.

Deloitte supported the relaunch through DIR’s Shared Technology Services Program (STS), which enables the state to work closely with vendor partners to manage and improve delivery of IT as a service. As Silva stated, Deloitte has helped the state build an “ecosystem” for the program.

The company created the information architecture and helped with the organization and structure of the new website using a human-centered approach to the design that would allow users to access government services from any location or device.

She added that Deloitte’s involvement helps DIR access insights and best practices related to search engine optimization to continue to increase the visibility.

The state is also working to offer additional applications to improve the way constituents experience interactions with government.
Julia Edinger is a staff writer for Government Technology. She has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Toledo and has since worked in publishing and media. She's currently located in Southern California.