Digital Services Georgia
Digital Services Georgia (DSGa) manages digital strategy for state agencies and elected officials to cultivate a mature digital presence and constituent-centric service delivery. DSGa builds products, trains agencies, and provides ongoing support through a help desk, webinars, and consultations. The focus of DSGa complements GTA’s macro view of the technology landscape from larger systems to granular interactions, such as websites, chatbots, and voicebots. DSGa leans in to support technical implementations and represent the voice of the constituent to ensure technology products are easy to use and relevant.
The team continuously watches audience needs and refines strategy for new products and services, as well as evolves our existing portfolio. Research includes user experience interviews with agency personnel to identify ways to drive efficiency and consistency. This year, for example, DSGa launched Orchard in response to application developers’ need for an easy way to align with Georgia’s enterprise branding. DSGa also interacts directly with constituents using their products to ensure that they are working as designed.
DSGa’s flagship product, GovHub, powers more than 80 state websites. Agencies rely on GovHub’s accessible, performant, and secure platform to serve their most important content and connect Georgians to the services they need when they need them. In the 2022 fiscal year alone, GovHub served 195 million pages and 40.8 million unique visitors (94 million sessions). Georgia.gov remains the most visited of all GovHub websites. The DSGa team works to continuously improve GovHub, including biweekly feature and infrastructure upgrades. The team is working toward a design and user experience refresh in 2023. Based on user research and modern best practices, the refresh will transform GovHub sites and be offered to agencies to reskin transactional applications.
DSGa owns and maintains the Georgia.gov state website. In FY 2022, the team added seasonal content about primary elections and removed information related to COVID-19, all aimed at maintaining an easy, one-stop entry point for Georgia’s state services. Overall, Georgia.gov served nearly seven million visitors, with about 15 million total page views for the year. Emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic and its huge impact on state policies and services, the year saw a return to normal audience traffic patterns centered on what typically have been the most popular topics: welfare assistance, starting a business, and firearms (even though this page now reflects changes in the law that eliminated a carry license). Without the spikes around elections or COVID-19, page views were spread fairly evenly across the top 20 services.
Georgia Analytics Program (GAP)
Through the Georgia Analytics Program, DSGa provides agencies with real-time data about the performance of their sites and applications to encourage continuous improvement. To understand the data and what it means in the context of their online presence, DSGa offers training on how to use the tools. In addition, DSGa developed a new content service, the GAP Consultation, to help agencies interpret and apply the information that the data provides by conducting an in-depth analysis of the analytics, search engine optimization (SEO), accessibility, and quality assurance (QA) reports, and offering specific recommendations for improvement. In April 2022, DSGa kicked off the service with the Georgia Department of Public Health as the pilot agency.
DSGa continued to expand its training and educational program in 2022 with the re-launch of the Digital Academy, a content-focused workshop that builds content strategy and writing skills for state agency employees. Website editors from nine agencies engaged in on-demand courses and assessments, as well as a live class, to earn their state certification. The learning management system (LMS) grew with 22 new courses available in the interactive video library. In FY 2022, more than 140 users made use of the offerings. DSGa also conducted 10 live instructional webinars with attendees from 11 agencies.
GOVTalks is an annual conference that DSGa hosts for state agencies in Georgia. In 2022, the theme centered on enhancing the customer experience on websites and beyond, including chatbots, design systems, and social media frontiers for public organizations. DSGa held the conference virtually in May 2022 offering seven sessions throughout the day for attendees from 39 agencies.
Georgia Digital Center of Excellence (DCoE)
DSGa continued to sponsor and support the Georgia Digital Center of Excellence (DCoE). The DCoE is a statewide initiative, bringing agencies together to define and promote adoption of best practices across the state’s digital landscape. Several DCoE committees engaged in quarterly meetings to share knowledge and experiences on topics such as social media, plain language content, and website design. The DCoE also held two statewide webinars attended by more than 70 public sector employees from state agencies to local municipalities.
Chatbot and Voicebot Solutions
In addition to these established products and services, the DSGa team collaborated with numerous internal and external partners to test new technologies and propose solutions to challenges faced by agencies and constituents. For example, in FY 2022, a few partner agencies sought digital solutions for an influx of constituent calls overwhelming their phone systems. DSGa recommended adding chatbots to two agency sites that addressed their most frequently answered questions. While the bots are helpful, the team recognized room for improvement and continued to work on better solutions. DSGa implemented a proof of concept of a different chatbot technology on its own website during the fiscal year, aiming to continue to drive better results for agency users and Georgians.
DSGa also engaged with numerous agency technology teams to identify opportunities to improve the accessibility and consistency of products, while optimizing efficient delivery. The result is an overhaul of Orchard, the enterprise design system. DSGa learned how best to serve agency partners and has compiled that data into requirements for the new Orchard, which will be released in FY 2023.