Poughkeepsie … Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro announced the launch of Dutchess County’s newly redesigned website, DutchessNY.gov. The website has been completely overhauled with a new, modern design to improve user experience and quickly find the information they need. The new site is mobile responsive, making it easier to access on phones, tablets and other mobile devices. Additionally, the site exceeds Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, with innovative use of accessibility tools to help residents and visitors of all abilities navigate the wide array of information, services and programs Dutchess County Government has to offer.
County Executive Molinaro said, “Our website is an integral part of how we interact with citizens and visitors. This new site has a clean, modern look and is designed to be as intuitive and easy to navigate as possible. Our dedicated Office of Central and Information Services (OCIS) web team worked diligently with each department to refine and enhance content to be accessible and accurate to ensure people can get what they need quickly and easily, no matter how they access our website.”
The website redesign has been an extensive project for the OCIS web team over the past year, beginning with training for each department in federal “Plain Language” guidelines. Plain language makes it easier for the public to read, understand, and use government communications. County departments and agencies went through thousands of web content pages to streamline information.
To ensure people of all abilities can take advantage of the vast array of information available, the website features a fully integrated, cloud-based web accessibility tool, ReciteMe, which allows visitors to customize the site to meet their needs through text-to-speech functionality, font adjustment for dyslexia, an interactive dictionary, a translation tool, and many other features. Users can change website elements such as font size, font color and background color contrast to improve their experience. Dutchess County, which began piloting ReciteMe last year, is the first county in the United States to utilize this tool.
Other new website features include “predictive search,” which provides a drop-down list of suggestions based on the user’s search query as it is typed, and “intuitive design,” utilizing templates for webpages to provide visual consistency and make finding information easier.
In addition to favorites like news and events, the site’s homepage now gives visitors quick and easy access to popular services and resources, such as:
The new www.dutchessny.gov is the latest example of Dutchess County’s commitment to technology to improve services and boost efficiencies to better serve residents. Dutchess has been continuously recognized for its innovation, earning the No.1 ranking in the nation, among mid-size county governments, in the Center for Digital Government (CDG) and the National Association of Counties (NACo) annual Digital Counties Survey. Dutchess County has been ranked in the top 10 in the nation for 15 years, every year the survey has been conducted.
Glenn Marchi, PhD, Dutchess County’s Commissioner of OCIS, said, “The Office of Central and Information Services strives to foster a vibrant economic environment through the innovative technology and information services it provides to both residents and County departments. We will continue to ensure our services and resources are accessible, engaging, efficient, secure, and innovative to maximize our residents’ and visitors’ digital experience.”
“Dutchess County consistently leads the way in technology innovation. Thank you to the entire staff at OCIS, particularly our web team, who have spent many months working to ensure everyone of every ability can navigate to the information they need, when they need it. I invite everyone to visit our great new website and explore all we have to offer,” concluded County Executive Molinaro.
The transition to the new website included the transfer of more than 44,000 pages of web content. There may be minor issues with search content over the next several weeks, as search engines connect with the new site. Users can utilize the “Contact Us” form at the bottom of the site’s home page to flag any issues to OCIS.
The new county website will be among the many initiatives highlighted in County Executive Molinaro’s 2019 State of the County address, which will be held on Wednesday, February 27th at 5:30 p.m. at the Culinary Institute of America’s Marriott Pavilion, located at 1946 Campus Drive in Hyde Park. Residents can RSVP for the State of the County address at www.dutchessny.gov/rsvp or by calling (845) 486-2000.