DPH Launches New Website with You in Mind

September 6, 2013

For the first time in more than 10 years, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has completely overhauled and redesigned its website. The project took nearly two years and involved every corner of DPH, including direct input from more than 150 employees, agency partners and the public. The result: an easier, more refined and modern Web experience for some 8,000 people who visit DPH online daily.

“We pored over analytical reports for months, and the resulting snapshot revealed a path to something far better,” said DPH Director of Communications Ryan Deal. “Getting here wasn’t easy at all considering the size and bulk of what existed before.”

Until now, Web visitors had surfed and sifted through an astonishing 80,000 Web pages, and those pages linked to more than 250,000 reports, documents and images in what had grown over a decade to become perhaps the largest, bulkiest state government website in Georgia.

“Navigating the site is manageable now,” said Jimmy Clanton, the site’s managing architect who collaborated with principals at the Georgia Technology Authority to complete the redesign. “We were certainly serving the needs of the public, but we knew we could provide a better, faster level of service.”

The new website deploys one-click content translation in five languages, far simpler navigation, and is a complete departure from the old website, which was maintained with no content management system and required advanced code authoring to update.

“It was the equivalent of manufacturing the paper before you could write a message,” Clanton said.

The development of the new dph.georgia.gov was guided by three main goals: root the site in preventive health care, connect visitors with the information they desire in three clicks or less and develop simpler ways for users to interact with DPH.

“What Georgia has now is a truly relevant website where meeting our goals will be a continuous, department-wide experience,” Deal said. “We’ve gone from just one person with the ability to update content, and we’ve extended that ability to dozens of ‘content creators’ spanning every program area.”

“We are now more prepared than ever to communicate instantly when it matters most,” said Eric Jens, DPH’s state risk communicator within the communications division.

“Rapid communication is always the endgame for us,” said DPH Health Communications Specialist Carrie Gann, who is growing the department’s social media properties and developing DPH’s new blog. “We’re looking at every way we communicate with our public, and we’re constantly looking to improve.”

Web visitors can contact the Division of Communications with feedback at communications@dhr.state.ga.us.

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