Maine.gov Named One of Best by Brown University
By Kelly Hokkanen, InforME
Maine was rated the third best state for eGovernment in the United States, according to the eighth annual survey of eGovernment effectiveness conducted by Brown University’s Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions. The study praised Maine’s site for its easy navigation, thoughtful prioritization of information and customizability.
The high ranking for Maine reflects the efforts of the State to set a high quality standard for websites through policies such as the Web Accessibility Policy and Web Standards, including the agency web design templates and Style Guide. These standards have been widely adopted by agencies over the last few years and have resulted in greater consistency across Maine.gov, enhancing the public user experience. For example, all agencies that use the standard website design have consistently-placed links to Maine.gov web policies and contact information. Nearly all state sites display the standard Maine.gov header, which provides common links to online services, help, translation and mapping tools, and the state agency directory.
In three instances since 2004, Maine has been ranked among the top three states by the Brown University eGovernment survey. According to the Brown University report, the Maine.gov portal "is designed to allow people to get to the information they are looking for as quickly as possible." The report also praised Maine for having links to online services and language translation on nearly all of its websites.
The Brown study evaluated an average of 30 separate websites for each state, assigning points for a variety of criteria including online services and data, mobile access, user policies, disability access, public outreach and communication options. The authors emphasized the importance of consistent design and navigation across agency websites within a state, and recommended more features such as kids’ pages and customization tools. The full report is available online at http://www.insidepolitics.org/egovt07us.pdf .