The country is taking notice of Utah's official Web site, www.utah.gov. In the annual "Best of the Web" competition, Utah.Gov has been ranked the third best state government Web site in the nation.
The Center for Digital Government, a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government, sponsored the competition. Now in its 10th year, the "Best of the Web" contest evaluates government Web sites based on their innovation, functionality, efficiency, economy, and Web-based delivery of public services.
Earlier this year, the Department of Technology Services unveiled a new Web site with a dramatic, Utah-inspired design that provides government information and services most sought after by citizens and businesses. With over 400 online services from 55 different agencies, Utah.Gov can be an overwhelming place. Thanks to the new keyword online services search, citizens can quickly and conveniently locate the service they need most.
In addition to being able to locate services more quickly, users now have easier access to vital content: links to information about emergency preparedness as well as state newsfeeds are right on the homepage. Those who need a little extra guidance with the new site can find assistance at the award-winning help center, which provides various types of technical and customer support, including 24/7 live chat.
"This recognition is yet another illustration of our efforts to provide information and government services efficiently to our customers," said J. Stephen Fletcher, chief information officer for the state of Utah. "The site skillfully brings convenience and ease by using some of the newest technologies in a way that effectively meets the needs of the citizens - the dramatic Web 2.0 design, the AJAX-powered keyword search, and the RSS news feeds are just a few of the useful new tools implemented in the new design."
The Center for Digital Government agrees that Utah's new site effectively and efficiently meets its customers' needs. "Government Web sites have truly become the citizen gateway to services as sites become more robust and easier to navigate," said Cathilea Robinett, Executive Director of the Center for Digital Government. "Utah has an elegant and highly functional site that sets the bar for the rest of the nation."
Utah's third place "Best of the Web" ranking comes on the heels of its unprecedented, third-consecutive, top-five ranking in Brown University's annual study of state and federal Web sites and first place ranking in the 2006 Government Customer Support Excellence Awards.