How CO Elevated Community Support

January 07, 2022 by Rhiannon Barber

How CO Elevated Community Support

As the pandemic unfolded in the U.S. in early 2020, individuals and communities turned to state governments for accurate, timely COVID-19 information. Public health guidelines evolved rapidly, and communities deployed new pandemic-related services, leaving state governments with the urgent challenge of streamlining critical information to constituents in an efficient, easy-to-access manner.

Having already begun the process of redesigning its website, the state of Colorado was uniquely poised to accept this challenge and maximize its impact in a COVID-19 world of uncertainty. With the help of NIC Colorado, the state focused its redesign efforts on meeting the immediate questions and needs of its citizens.

“The rapidly evolving circumstances of the pandemic necessitated immediate and sustained flexibility to best serve Coloradoans,” said Mike Ansley, general manager of NIC Colorado. "Our model and nearly two-decades of continuous partnership with Colorado provided the state the dynamic, trusted solution they needed to keep the residents of Colorado informed and safe during a time of great uncertainty. Pivoting with changing priorities and rising up to deliver the seemingly impossible are two of the many ways we’re able to serve our partners."

As the pandemic impacted increasingly more Americans, Colorado mobilized quickly to meet a rapidly growing digital demand for public health information. The state streamlined information from hundreds of Colorado governmental sites, enhanced its website user experience, and integrated new, community-focused tools to meet constituents’ needs more effectively.

Streamlining Digital Infrastructure

As Colorado worked hard to enhance its site for residents, the state realized it would need to do more than simply update the aesthetic. Adjusting the website architecture to provide a seamless user experience across hundreds of Colorado governmental sites would be vital to streamlining information and resources to constituents. Now when concerned Colorado families reach out online, they can comfortably access more than 370 state agency and local government partner websites in a single, familiar place.

Enhancing User Experience

In addition to streamlining its site architecture, Colorado also featured a prominent search bar at the top of each webpage accompanied by department-specific background imagery and search suggestions. Followed by a “popular services” section, this provides a clear roadmap to important information and social solutions visitors may be looking for. As a result, users are able to spend less time conforming their searches to the inherent structure of the site and instead expedite their paths to relevant government resources.

Colorado also incorporated a new chat feature. The Colorado.gov chatbot offers the opportunity for users to connect with the state for further assistance, providing a more efficient way for Colorado to interface with citizens and meet individual needs. By equipping and empowering residents with the tools to find government information, Colorado simplified its overall community-facing processes and maximized the value of its in-person interactions with citizens.

Connecting Colorado Communities

In the middle of a website redesign amidst a global pandemic outbreak, Colorado leveraged the expertise of NIC Colorado to better connect with its residents and streamline its online interface, winning NIC Colorado an Acquia Regional Excellence award in 2021. Most importantly, now and beyond the evolving pandemic, Colorado communities are equipped with a robust, easy-to-use resource for accessing accurate and up-to-date information and services.

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