Arkansas.gov Beta Site

Welcome to the new Arkansas.gov beta website! We’ve made some changes and I’d like to take a few minutes to show you what’s new and why things have changed. As always, please let us know how we’re doing because your feedback really matters, and we read each suggestion.

New Design

screen shot of new arkansas.gov home page

First of all, you’ve probably noticed the new design and color scheme of the site. The previous Arkansas.gov was heavily focused on imagery that showcased some great photos from across the Natural State. When we launched that site it was revolutionary, but over the last couple of years we’ve received feedback from users that they really want a site where they can find what they need and get on with their day. So in the interest of helping Arkansans find what they need quickly and easily we removed a lot of the imagery and opted for a more straightforward layout with easy-to-read text and links.

Let us know what you think about the usability of the new design and what we can do to improve it!

Speed and Mobile

We spent a lot of time trimming the “fat” from the Arkansas.gov site. We know that many Arkansans access the site on a mobile device. We don’t like to wait for sites to load on our phones and we know you don’t either, so the speed in which the site loads was one of our top priorities. In fact we ran some speed tests against the previous Arkansas.gov home page and the new one and we’ve seen a 100% improvement in page load time and a 122% decrease in the number of requests your browser had to make to load the page.

If you want to know more about how we made the site faster you can check out the technical details in this write-up.

Old Site Home Page: 2.2MB
Load Time: 4.64 seconds
Total Requests: 131

New Home Page: 1MB
Load Time: 1.1 seconds
Total Requests: 29

Searching

screen shot of new arkansas.gov home page

We have implemented a brand new search engine that keeps an eye on the site and continuously crawls it to keep the search relevant and up to date. The engine can also make better recommendations thanks to our ability to train it on some of the Arkansas specific language that we use to describe agencies and services in the Natural State.

Consolidated Agency Information

The implementation team spent a lot of time combing through old data sets and filtering out bad phone numbers, addresses, etc. to create a new data standard for state agencies, boards, and commissions. The new Arkansas.gov standardizes information about each agency and provides a way for citizens to quickly and easily locate contact information, social media links, news, important documents, public meetings, and key services all in one convenient location.

New Help Center

screen shot of new arkansas.gov home page

We’ve also enhanced the Arkansas.gov help center with easier-to-find information and we’re adding to it regularly to help Arkansans find the information they need quickly and easily.

As part of the new help center we’ve enhanced our live chat by adding automated answering, live agent help, and the ability to start a conversation on the website and continue it via email if you have to step away from the computer. These new channels for support are geared towards getting citizens help how and when they need it.

Arkansas.gov Bot

If you use the new Arkansas.gov help center you will be able to interface with a brand new chat bot aimed at providing you with information quickly and easily. The bot can answer a myriad of questions and if it’s unable to assist it will transfer you to a live agent who can pick up the conversations and assist you seamlessly.