Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Immerse Yourself in Utah.gov 2011

It's been two years since the state of Utah did a major upgrade to its website and a lot has changed during that time. The internet continues to represent an enormous opportunity for state government. In just five short years, the number of visitors to the Utah.gov domain has doubled, reaching 1.4 million unique visitors in March 2011. The new site has been developed, based on extensive research, to address the most important needs of Utah citizens. It takes into account changes that have occurred in Utah society and with technology. We appreciate the fact that Utah.gov has come to represent a trusted source for all kinds of information.

Two years ago, social media services, such as Twitter and Facebook, were still new to many Utahns, so we provided aggregation services where citizens could discover new agency Twitter feeds and begin to interact. The new site, integrates collaborative features into more aspects of the site so you will find information from Twitter and Facebook, and videos from YouTube integrated into many of the pages of Utah.gov. We continue to use the internet to open up government and make it more accessible through services like Open.Utah.gov. There's also lots of data available in a variety of formats at Data.Utah.gov. Of course, we try to be as open as possible while still maintaining the privacy of our individual citizens.

Still, the most important features on Utah.gov are the numerous services that save time and money for citizens, while bringing tremendous efficiencies to state government as well as the vast libraries of information on topics as varied as healthcare, transportation, caregivers, business creation, and hunting. In 2010, Utah citizens engaged the domain for over 25.1 million interactive transactions, saving hundreds of millions of dollars in the process.

Here's a brief introduction to the new site. We hope you enjoy it.

1 comment:

Joseph said...

There are some basic things that could be done to improve the performance of the utah.gov site:

- when requesting utah.gov/ it redirects to utah.gov/index.html - no need to do this, just show the front page content on the initial page load

- turn on HTTP compression on the web server. The front page is over 2MB (huge!) and enabling compression will reduce that by more than 16%

- set far future caching headers for static content. That will reduce the resource requests after the first page load

These are basic methods (the bare minimum really) for improving the performance of utah.gov. I ran it through webpagetest.org - http://www.webpagetest.org/result/110601_D2_QY32/- which provides some additional suggestions.