How we did it: Record growth a year into the new

On November 12, 2014, Governor Cuomo unveiled a new New York State website for the first time in 15 years. A year later, the numbers show the strategy of better service design and accessibility is working: users have doubled, mobile sessions tripled and pageviews quadrupled to a record high of 17 million.

How did we do it? A few factors:

  1. We listened to the public and learned from our data, prioritized Services above all else.
  2. We expanded to over 80 languages with Google Translate, welcoming more users.
  3. We did a better job of serving the visually impaired, surpassing ADA requirements and setting strict contrast standards.
  4. We built a fully responsive website, truly welcoming mobile users for the first time.
  5. We updated our page and URL structures to better optimize for external search engines like Google and Bing.
  6. We fixed our own internal search, adding predictive search and refining results for our users.
  7. We introduced a new Services section modeled on How To and TurboTax formats, to provide consistent, easy-to-understand customer service online.
  8. We changed the way we communicated, removing jargon and acronyms and adding powerful images and infographics.
  9. We made it easier to participate in government and stay informed with fewer clicks and no downloads to watch live video streams of important events.
  10. We changed the way that we organize information, basing it off user needs and not our own bureaucracy.
  11. We introduced a new Local section that shows a constituent-centric view of nearby realtime alerts and services based on your location.
  12. Even after relaunch, we continued to tweak things that didn’t work, like simplifying our navigation. And we added qualitative feedback surveys throughout to measure our success.

We have much work to do, and welcome your input for how we can continue to improve in comments. But we are grateful for a strong foundation to build on — and look forward to raising the bar further.