Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that the State of Connecticut has launched a complete redesign of its official website - www.ct.gov - containing a new layout, new features, and new efficiency measures that will ultimately increase usability, customer service, transparency, and access for its visitors.
The new website, which is now live, is part of a major modernization process for the state's online presence that - in addition to containing new features - is organized to meet the specific needs of the residents, businesses and visitors of the state. It was designed for use on computers, tablets, and mobile devices.
"In the 21st Century, the state's online presence is our virtual welcome mat, and we want to ensure that businesses, residents and visitors alike have the tools they need to conduct business with the state over their computers in a way that eliminates redundancy and improves usability for users," said Governor Malloy. "This modernization was no doubt long overdue and needed, and as its development continues, we are keeping an eye towards ensuring that new features continue to be added that increase the number of online interactions available for users and make it as easily accessible as possible."
The main homepage of CT.gov now contains a series of eight new sections with some of the most popular features that visitors to the state's website regularly interact with, divided into groups with titles such as "Business," "Driving and Transportation," and "Education." These sections were designed with the goal of increasing ease of access for the average user without having to navigate through multiple layers and pages in each individual state agency's websites to find the most frequently accessed and popular features.
Governor Malloy stressed that launching a business portal was a top priority of the project. The business portal houses an online presence that consolidates the various business-related solutions provided by different state agencies, and will continue to introduce many new services that make it easier for the private sector to form, operate and expand businesses in Connecticut.
"The abundance of programs and services available from the state and its economic development partners can be overwhelming. This new business portal, through its user-friendly design, connects businesses quickly to the resources they need," said Catherine Smith, Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development.
At the moment, the state's main homepage has launched under the redesign, as have the websites for the Office of the Governor and the Office of the Lt. Governor. Over time, the websites for every state agency in Connecticut will shift in stages over to this new format, and in doing so will increase the number of services that users can conduct over the internet.
The plan is to modify each state agency's website by creating new interactive services on the state's portal. With this innovation, Connecticut residents may soon be able to use the portal for a number of possibilities, such as submitting a smart phone picture to document an unsafe condition, taking a mobile practice driver's license exam, applying for a fishing license, finding the nearest government office or polling place, renewing a business license, or even quickly accessing needed information from government databases. The possibilities include any interaction that a member of the public may have with any state office.
"This has been a tremendously collaborative design effort with agencies and our implementation partner," said Mark Raymond, the state's Chief Information Officer. "I am thrilled that the new design makes it easier to access state government and I look forward to bringing even more electronic services to our citizens and businesses."
As was announced last year, the website modernization is occurring under a self-funded plan that allows the portal to be developed and operated without tax dollars through an agreement signed with Connecticut Interactive, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of NIC, Inc., who are responsible for its design and management. Funding for the portal is generated through modest efficiency fees that are applied to a small subset of the online services, specifically those that fulfill specialized requests by bulk purchasers of government information, such as motor vehicle driver histories. This type of structure is used in over half the states in the nation to satisfy the growing demand for online services.
NIC is the nation's leading provider of official government websites, online services, and secure payment processing solutions. It has successfully provided services to over 30 states in the nation, including Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, and Texas, among others. The company has offices in Hartford.