As we mentioned before, the old georgia.gov relied heavily on browsing. Each link to an agency service or content was organized in a special hierarchy. And state government is good at organizing things.
Unfortunately, state government is also big - immense, in fact - and users have trouble finding things. Can’t find hunting licenses under “Environment”? Well, try “Tourism.” Car tags not under “Transportation”? Maybe it’s under “Revenue,” since you pay ad valorem tax. It can get tricky.
More and more people are searching for information instead of browsing for it. And for something as big as state government, we knew our search had to carry the users’ experience.
We use the Google Search Appliance, and like its mother company, is very good at searching. In fact, it’s too good. Searching for something like “child abuse” yields 30,900 matches.
We needed something a bit more intelligent. So we designed a search that would allow us to promote certain content for keywords and synonyms. For instance, a user searching for DMV will get a match for the Department of Driver Services.
We also noticed that people may be looking for different kinds of information. Some people who are searching for “Child Support” may want to know how to file for child support, while others may be looking for the online service to check on the status of payments. So we organized search results
- Google Maps mashups
- SEO tweaking for all Vignette sites; checklist of SEO best practices for non-Vignette sites
- More people are using search