SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Kevin Benedict, Gilad Parann-Nissany, Michael Bushong, Eric Brown

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Maryland.gov Features Innovative New Tools for Personalization and Citizen Engagement

The State of Maryland launched an updated design and innovative new features on the award-winning official State website, Maryland.gov (www.maryland.gov), that serves as the gateway for the 63 million visitors to Maryland state agency websites each year. Visitor analytics, leading industry trends, innovative new personalization features and mobility play key roles in the new fluid, and flexible design that provides streamlined content and better usability on any device - mobile, tablet or web browser.

“This updated design shows the commitment to our tech-savvy citizens who access services and information at home and on the go,” said Isabel FitzGerald, secretary of the state’s Department of Information Technology. “With nearly a 200 percent increase in mobile users over the past year, the new design ensures a user experience that adapts to deliver all of the same interactive features and content on any device.”

Maryland.gov’s Instant Search interface has been enhanced to provide more predictive and contextual search results. The search results are indexed from all state agency websites and have been organized into topics visitors care about such as Pages, Online Services, Publications, Maps, Tweets, Jobs, Counties, News and Open Data using the power of Google’s Site Search API and the most up-to-date algorithms to match Google Proper’s results.

The first of its kind MyMARYLAND Clipboard personalization feature provides a unique way for visitors to save important links within Maryland.gov without intrusive tracking or the need to register for an account. Visitors click and drag any of the portal content links including top stories, meetings and online services to the Clipboard panel on the site to save for a future visit. Suggested clips are also provided based on the section of the site visitors are browsing.

Another first is Maryland’s new visually engaging Social Media Hub accessed from the Social button on the jump menu. Visitors can engage with their government directly from within the portal through the real-time Trending Now feed and also share interesting content. The Hub visually aggregates more than 200 agency social channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, RSS and YouTube.

Additional features in the new Maryland.gov also include:

  • Enterprise Public Meetings Calendar and News Feeds: New calendar functionality provides greater transparency to state government operations and delivers the most up-to-date news and public meetings
  • Explore Maryland Near You: Near You geo-location functionality now includes Maryland State Jobs in your area in addition to Motor Vehicle office locations with up to the minute wait times, State Parks and Government office locations.
  • eGov Services Activity Tracker: Displays usage statistics for online transactions driving the usage of eGov services
  • Fluid and Flexible Parallax Design: Overall site has been visually improved and enhanced with a more streamlined and mobile-friendly design that provides depth and better usability and an updated mobile-friendly Maryland.gov logo.

Maryland continues to lead states in creating a cohesive, cross-agency user experience for visitors regardless of how they choose to interact with government. Enterprise web templates are utilized by agencies that inherit key elements from the portal such as the enterprise Google search, statewide navigation and a fully responsive, common look and feel design. More than two dozen agencies have already updated their websites to use the new responsive website templates.

The Maryland.gov website was redesigned at no cost to taxpayers through NIC Maryland’s partnership with the State Department of Information and Technology via a competitively bid contract which enables the company to provide eGovernment applications and services to state and local government agencies in the state of Maryland.

About NIC Maryland

NIC Maryland builds, operates, maintains, and markets Maryland.gov and its eGovernment services. Maryland.gov is the official website of the state of Maryland (http://www.maryland.gov) and is a collaborative public/private partnership managed by the Department of Information Technology (DoIT) and NIC Maryland. NIC Maryland helps Maryland state and local government entities web-enable their services and operates without tax funds through a Self-funded eGovernment Services contract. NIC Maryland has developed more than 28 eGov products and services for the State of Maryland since the contract was awarded in August, 2011.

About NIC

NIC (Nasdaq: EGOV) is the nation's leading provider of official state government portals, online services, and secure payment processing solutions. The company's innovative eGovernment services help reduce costs and increase efficiencies for government agencies, citizens, and businesses across the country. NIC provides eGovernment solutions for more than 3,500 federal, state, and local agencies in the United States. Additional information is available at http://www.egov.com.

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