PA.gov That Works: State Websites Get a New Look

By: Kate Landis, Deputy Chief Digital Officer

January 08, 2019

PA.gov That Works is a series of blog posts dedicated to Pennsylvania digital initiatives. In this post, we’re talking about the latest updates to the Pennsylvania state website enterprise template.

We’ve been hard at work to redesign PA.gov and improve how we connect Pennsylvanians with government services.

In 2018, we turned our focus to improving Pennsylvania’s state websites. Our guiding principles were simple:

  1. It should be easy to know you’re on a state website, and
  2. It should be easy for all Pennsylvanians on all devices to find what they’re looking for.

With those principles in mind, we created a new enterprise template to give all state websites a common look and feel, to improve mobile experience, and to make our websites more accessible. 60 state agency, bureau, and office websites have since been converted to the new template.

Common Look and Feel

Our new template ensures state websites look similar and function in a similar way. This means users can be confident they’re on an official state website and can more easily find what they’re looking for.

New features that you can see on state websites using the enterprise template that help achieve this common look and feel are:

  • A bar at the top of website indicating users are on an official Pennsylvania government website.
  • Google translate.
  • A search feature accessible from the top navigation.
  • An icon bar that features popular services and information.
  • A standardized footer that links to the contact form and social media for that agency, office, or bureau.
  • A new, mobile responsive contact form.
Desktop screenshot of the Pennsylvania Department of Health homepage

Mobile-friendly

About 40% of all users are accessing state websites from a mobile device. Our new enterprise template ensures that state websites are accessible from any device — including phones and tablets.

Because our enterprise template was designed with mobile in mind, users have a similar experience on mobile and desktop.

Mobile screenshot of the Pennsylvania Department of Health homepage

Accessible

According to the CDC, 21 percent of Pennsylvanians have some type of disability — including disabilities that impact vision, hearing, mobility, and cognition.

We’re committed to serving all Pennsylvanians, and that means ensuring Pennsylvania’s official websites are designed with web accessibility in mind.

Our new enterprise template has gone through extensive testing to ensure it adheres to accessibility best practices, giving special attention to screen reader user experience.

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