Government Technology

2009 Best of the Web Winners Announced



September 1, 2009 By

Utah; Virginia Beach, Va.; and Fairfax County, Va., took top honors in the 2009 Best of the Web awards competition, the Center for Digital Government announced Tuesday, Sept. 1. The awards are a joint project of Government Technology and the Center for Digital Government.

The annual Best of the Web awards rank state, county and city portals and are judged by a panel of experts on a wide range of categories, including site accessibility, innovation, cost-savings, ease of use and exceptional service to public. Finalists will collect their awards on Sept. 18 in Hollywood, Calif. The award winners were grouped into state, city and county categories.  They finished as follows:

State Portal Category:

1st Place: Utah

2nd Place: California

3rd Place: Arkansas

4th Place: Maine

5th Place: Colorado

City Portal Category:

1st Place: Virginia Beach, Va.

2nd Place: Riverside, Calif.

3rd Place: Louisville, Ky.

4th Place: Rocklin, Calif.

5th Place: Corpus Christi, Texas and Tampa, Fla.

County Portal Category:

1st Place: Fairfax County, Va.

2nd Place: Miami-Dade County, Fla.

3rd Place: King County, Wash.

4th Place: Monroe County, N.Y.

5th Place: Collin County, Texas

Given that the year's economic downswing forced some state and local governments to shorten workweeks and reduce staff, a repackaging of online government services was especially important to governments that competed in 2009.

A common thread among the finalists was prominent links on the home page to e-government services and their high placement in search engines. Enabling citizens to pay a department of motor vehicles bill or water bill without the trouble of sleuthing for the individual agency's Web page also was a key this year. Including links on the home page to social networking platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, appeared to be a common goal of the finalists. Culture-savvy Web design teams also showcased podcasts, YouTube videos and RSS feeds.

Nearly all portals based their changes on citizen preferences derived from systematically collected data. Here's a look at the 2009 winners and what propelled them to honors on the red carpet.

State Winners

While numerous portals aimed to make it easier for citizens to find relevant information, Utah gave the strategy a twist. Utah.gov uses GeoIP technology, which identifies a user's physical location by his or her IP address. This information triggers a display of services located nearby. GIS supplies the data for each IP address that accesses the portal. Usable online services are particularly important in Utah because the state switched to a four-day workweek in the summer of 2008. Citizens indicated approval of this schedule, but only with strong online services, said state CIO Steve Fletcher.

"It was all trying to get as many services online as we could because we were not accessible so much on Friday anymore," Fletcher explained.


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Comments

Kenneth Brockman    |    Commented September 1, 2009

What is the criteria used to determine the winners?

Kenneth Brockman    |    Commented September 1, 2009

What is the criteria used to determine the winners?

Kenneth Brockman    |    Commented September 1, 2009

What is the criteria used to determine the winners?

Anonymous    |    Commented September 2, 2009

Andy, why not post a link to the entire report or source document? Thanks!

Anonymous    |    Commented September 2, 2009

Andy, why not post a link to the entire report or source document? Thanks!

Anonymous    |    Commented September 2, 2009

Andy, why not post a link to the entire report or source document? Thanks!

Gwen Cowart    |    Commented September 2, 2009

Dave, Here's the article that captures some of the reasons VB won

Gwen Cowart    |    Commented September 2, 2009

Dave, Here's the article that captures some of the reasons VB won

Gwen Cowart    |    Commented September 2, 2009

Dave, Here's the article that captures some of the reasons VB won

Anonymous    |    Commented September 3, 2009

Uath has great content, but according to WAVE (wave.webaim.org) it fails many ADA compliances tests. So, should it be elected the best site?

Anonymous    |    Commented September 3, 2009

Uath has great content, but according to WAVE (wave.webaim.org) it fails many ADA compliances tests. So, should it be elected the best site?

Anonymous    |    Commented September 3, 2009

Uath has great content, but according to WAVE (wave.webaim.org) it fails many ADA compliances tests. So, should it be elected the best site?

Jake    |    Commented September 11, 2009

Whoa. At least one of these is "powered by civica". How about choosing towns/cities that don't have their website designed & maintained by expensive companies? This kind of thing just isn't feasible for most towns nowadays.

Jake    |    Commented September 11, 2009

Whoa. At least one of these is "powered by civica". How about choosing towns/cities that don't have their website designed & maintained by expensive companies? This kind of thing just isn't feasible for most towns nowadays.

Jake    |    Commented September 11, 2009

Whoa. At least one of these is "powered by civica". How about choosing towns/cities that don't have their website designed & maintained by expensive companies? This kind of thing just isn't feasible for most towns nowadays.

Anonymous    |    Commented September 11, 2009

According to the entry form, the judging criteria are: INNOVATION (30%) This criterion focuses on the "Wow!" factor - that is, the innovative use of technology or stand-out approaches. What we are looking for here is what hasn't been done before or what is cutting edge. We are also interested in new ways of innovating across agencies or jurisdictions and co-creation through social networks and other collaborative platforms. A competitive submission will clearly describe its latest innovation through a Web site, Web service or other online application, delivered across devices including mobility devices. It will also explain the degree of innovation, why the innovation was needed, and how the innovation has improved service delivery and the user experience. FUNCTIONALITY (50%) This criterion focuses on the functionality that supports end-to-end transactions with high ease of use and satisfaction for interactions between citizens, businesses and governments. A competitive submission will include but is not limited to: 1. Security: the ability to securely complete transactions: 2. Privacy: a plain language statement explaining safeguards for any personally identifiable information collected or displayed through the site: 3. Usability: clean appearance and ease of navigation, and commonality of look, feel and functionality among transactions or interactions of similar type (or within the same environment or domain); and, 4. Accessibility: a commitment to universal design consistent with accessibility standards (commonly known as Section 508 or W3C Level One guidelines) and subject to third party validation or certification. EFFICIENCY AND ECONOMY (20%) This criterion focuses on measuring the impact of the solution on the operations of governmental institutions. A competitive submission will identify: 1. Whether a Return On Investment (ROI) method was formally used in assessing the impact of the solution; 2. If yes, which ROI was used (Cost Benefit, Value-add, Net Present Value, etc.; 3. What those measures indicate; 4. Combined with soft-dollar benefits, what the impact of the solution was on the cost structure of performing particular functions; and 5. The degree to which the Web site was a function of austerity measures and how it contributed to easing financial pressures while preserving service delivery.

Anonymous    |    Commented September 11, 2009

According to the entry form, the judging criteria are: INNOVATION (30%) This criterion focuses on the "Wow!" factor - that is, the innovative use of technology or stand-out approaches. What we are looking for here is what hasn't been done before or what is cutting edge. We are also interested in new ways of innovating across agencies or jurisdictions and co-creation through social networks and other collaborative platforms. A competitive submission will clearly describe its latest innovation through a Web site, Web service or other online application, delivered across devices including mobility devices. It will also explain the degree of innovation, why the innovation was needed, and how the innovation has improved service delivery and the user experience. FUNCTIONALITY (50%) This criterion focuses on the functionality that supports end-to-end transactions with high ease of use and satisfaction for interactions between citizens, businesses and governments. A competitive submission will include but is not limited to: 1. Security: the ability to securely complete transactions: 2. Privacy: a plain language statement explaining safeguards for any personally identifiable information collected or displayed through the site: 3. Usability: clean appearance and ease of navigation, and commonality of look, feel and functionality among transactions or interactions of similar type (or within the same environment or domain); and, 4. Accessibility: a commitment to universal design consistent with accessibility standards (commonly known as Section 508 or W3C Level One guidelines) and subject to third party validation or certification. EFFICIENCY AND ECONOMY (20%) This criterion focuses on measuring the impact of the solution on the operations of governmental institutions. A competitive submission will identify: 1. Whether a Return On Investment (ROI) method was formally used in assessing the impact of the solution; 2. If yes, which ROI was used (Cost Benefit, Value-add, Net Present Value, etc.; 3. What those measures indicate; 4. Combined with soft-dollar benefits, what the impact of the solution was on the cost structure of performing particular functions; and 5. The degree to which the Web site was a function of austerity measures and how it contributed to easing financial pressures while preserving service delivery.

Anonymous    |    Commented September 11, 2009

According to the entry form, the judging criteria are: INNOVATION (30%) This criterion focuses on the "Wow!" factor - that is, the innovative use of technology or stand-out approaches. What we are looking for here is what hasn't been done before or what is cutting edge. We are also interested in new ways of innovating across agencies or jurisdictions and co-creation through social networks and other collaborative platforms. A competitive submission will clearly describe its latest innovation through a Web site, Web service or other online application, delivered across devices including mobility devices. It will also explain the degree of innovation, why the innovation was needed, and how the innovation has improved service delivery and the user experience. FUNCTIONALITY (50%) This criterion focuses on the functionality that supports end-to-end transactions with high ease of use and satisfaction for interactions between citizens, businesses and governments. A competitive submission will include but is not limited to: 1. Security: the ability to securely complete transactions: 2. Privacy: a plain language statement explaining safeguards for any personally identifiable information collected or displayed through the site: 3. Usability: clean appearance and ease of navigation, and commonality of look, feel and functionality among transactions or interactions of similar type (or within the same environment or domain); and, 4. Accessibility: a commitment to universal design consistent with accessibility standards (commonly known as Section 508 or W3C Level One guidelines) and subject to third party validation or certification. EFFICIENCY AND ECONOMY (20%) This criterion focuses on measuring the impact of the solution on the operations of governmental institutions. A competitive submission will identify: 1. Whether a Return On Investment (ROI) method was formally used in assessing the impact of the solution; 2. If yes, which ROI was used (Cost Benefit, Value-add, Net Present Value, etc.; 3. What those measures indicate; 4. Combined with soft-dollar benefits, what the impact of the solution was on the cost structure of performing particular functions; and 5. The degree to which the Web site was a function of austerity measures and how it contributed to easing financial pressures while preserving service delivery.

Calvin    |    Commented September 11, 2009

I agree with Jake. Seems like these awards follow the money. It's a lot easier to win when you've got money to spend. Also, why isn't there a list of the losing sites? I'd be curious to know which states came in last and why.

Calvin    |    Commented September 11, 2009

I agree with Jake. Seems like these awards follow the money. It's a lot easier to win when you've got money to spend. Also, why isn't there a list of the losing sites? I'd be curious to know which states came in last and why.

Calvin    |    Commented September 11, 2009

I agree with Jake. Seems like these awards follow the money. It's a lot easier to win when you've got money to spend. Also, why isn't there a list of the losing sites? I'd be curious to know which states came in last and why.

Paul W. Taylor    |    Commented September 12, 2009

Jake, Thanks for your interest. You raise a legit concern -- but "at least one" does not a field make. Although I was not part of the evaluation team this year, the Center works hard to ensure that local governments receive recognition for good work. If you look across the field, you will find some that have used a third party (such as the one you mentioned), others that have collaborated with neighboring jurisdictions and still others that have done it by and for themselves. There's more than one way to get to a good result -- including both those that do it on a shoestring and those that get a little help from their friends, or outsiders.

Paul W. Taylor    |    Commented September 12, 2009

Jake, Thanks for your interest. You raise a legit concern -- but "at least one" does not a field make. Although I was not part of the evaluation team this year, the Center works hard to ensure that local governments receive recognition for good work. If you look across the field, you will find some that have used a third party (such as the one you mentioned), others that have collaborated with neighboring jurisdictions and still others that have done it by and for themselves. There's more than one way to get to a good result -- including both those that do it on a shoestring and those that get a little help from their friends, or outsiders.

Paul W. Taylor    |    Commented September 12, 2009

Jake, Thanks for your interest. You raise a legit concern -- but "at least one" does not a field make. Although I was not part of the evaluation team this year, the Center works hard to ensure that local governments receive recognition for good work. If you look across the field, you will find some that have used a third party (such as the one you mentioned), others that have collaborated with neighboring jurisdictions and still others that have done it by and for themselves. There's more than one way to get to a good result -- including both those that do it on a shoestring and those that get a little help from their friends, or outsiders.

Jeff    |    Commented October 25, 2009

I am also curious about source documents. Any chance we could find who did not make the cut, at least for states? Arizona and Iowa just released new versions of their respective .govs (within the last few days) and I was looking to see where they landed on the 2009 list.

Jeff    |    Commented October 25, 2009

I am also curious about source documents. Any chance we could find who did not make the cut, at least for states? Arizona and Iowa just released new versions of their respective .govs (within the last few days) and I was looking to see where they landed on the 2009 list.

Jeff    |    Commented October 25, 2009

I am also curious about source documents. Any chance we could find who did not make the cut, at least for states? Arizona and Iowa just released new versions of their respective .govs (within the last few days) and I was looking to see where they landed on the 2009 list.

TimN    |    Commented March 22, 2010

What a shame that I have missed these awards in 2009. I have actually read about these nominations for the first time now, and I can say that it quite interesting to see who have won and who not. Utah has the best state portal for sure. I absolutely agree with this one. I can absolutely understood some websites which are not so good, because keeping a nice and fully functional web is really expensive. I know that because I am an web app developer by myself. Economical crisis and all this stuff had really stopped a little bit the web development in various places. However thanks for publishing this article here, it was really interesting to read it. Oh and keep posting them in the future too. Sincerely, Tim Nollton from web application development

TimN    |    Commented March 22, 2010

What a shame that I have missed these awards in 2009. I have actually read about these nominations for the first time now, and I can say that it quite interesting to see who have won and who not. Utah has the best state portal for sure. I absolutely agree with this one. I can absolutely understood some websites which are not so good, because keeping a nice and fully functional web is really expensive. I know that because I am an web app developer by myself. Economical crisis and all this stuff had really stopped a little bit the web development in various places. However thanks for publishing this article here, it was really interesting to read it. Oh and keep posting them in the future too. Sincerely, Tim Nollton from web application development

TimN    |    Commented March 22, 2010

What a shame that I have missed these awards in 2009. I have actually read about these nominations for the first time now, and I can say that it quite interesting to see who have won and who not. Utah has the best state portal for sure. I absolutely agree with this one. I can absolutely understood some websites which are not so good, because keeping a nice and fully functional web is really expensive. I know that because I am an web app developer by myself. Economical crisis and all this stuff had really stopped a little bit the web development in various places. However thanks for publishing this article here, it was really interesting to read it. Oh and keep posting them in the future too. Sincerely, Tim Nollton from web application development

alannajobly    |    Commented October 8, 2010

It helped me with ocean of knowledge so I really believe you will do much better in the future I appreciate everything you have added to my knowledge base.Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer!

Jeff paul    |    Commented October 19, 2010

Whats the criteria used to determine the winner? If its innovation and functionality, then who judges it and makes decision whether a particular site is winner?

Jeff paul    |    Commented October 26, 2010

Whats the criteria used to determine the winner? If its innovation and functionality, then who judges it and makes decision whether a particular site is winner?

M. Taylor    |    Commented October 26, 2010

Thanks for this information it really useful for me to know. Thanks Anil Kumar from iPhone Development Offshore Team, KryptonSoft, India

iPhone Application Builder    |    Commented December 22, 2010

Thanks for sharing this informative post to us and it is really useful and interesting post. Best Regards, iPhone Application Builder

Rahul Aggarwal    |    Commented December 23, 2010

Its very interesting for web developers like me, good to know about this and thanks to Andy for posting this article. mobile application development All the best to the 2010 web winners.

Allie    |    Commented December 28, 2010

Great I am waiting for the 2010 Best of the Web winners. Allie @ Web Development

Alena Watson    |    Commented March 29, 2011

Great info! Thank you for the post. And m waiting for this year incident... Regards... Alena from Android Apps Development

Aaron smith    |    Commented April 7, 2011

I agree with Jake. Seems like these awards follow the money. It's a lot easier to win when you've got money to spend. Also, why isn't there a list of the losing sites? I'd be curious to know which states came in last and why.

Karen    |    Commented May 26, 2011

Thanks for providing the report data. It was very curious to learn the statistics. Karen, from mobile applications development

http://www.topjewelrysoutlet.com/ cheap pandora jewelry    |    Commented July 7, 2011

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Jia    |    Commented July 22, 2011

I would like to wish Congrats to all the winners. Thanks for announcing. Amber Management

Nicole White    |    Commented September 1, 2011

Thanks for the info. Congrats to the winners. I missed the awards but m waiting for the current year. Nicole from iphone Development

Alisa Garner    |    Commented September 15, 2011

Congratulations to the winner of the best of the web award to state country and city portals. Regards, Alisa Garner from Android Application Development


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