2022 Year In Review

2022 Year In Review

We partner with state agencies and elected officials to deliver information and services to constituents. GTA products, training, consulting, and governance put users’ needs first to provide the best possible experience.

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Ensuring Access For All

We work hard to ensure that the state’s information and services should be easily accessible for all Georgians. That means content is written in Plain Language. It means we support the most recent accessibility standards to ensure those with disabilities have an easier time using our products. A major focus of our outreach efforts to agencies is about accessibility – both because it’s the law and because we believe strongly that everyone who is entitled to state services should be able to get them. This emphasis on accessibility is tied directly to GTA’s 2025 IT Vision statement.

Our values are also evident in our design and development of the state’s official website, Georgia.gov. The site showcases the capabilities of our flagship product, GovHub, and contains the breadth of state government in one place. For many Georgians, it’s their starting point for state information and services. We provide clear, SEO-friendly information on top tasks and continually create new content that anticipates constituent needs, such as for the midterm elections, Covid, and cash-assistance cards. In addition, we post timely information on Georgia.gov’s Twitter and Facebook channels and respond to every constituent message.

screenshots of the Georgia.gov website in Spanish

To augment our elections content on Georgia.gov, we created new landing pages for the 2022 election cycle in both English and Spanish. We launched a social media campaign to promote the content on these pages, which helped voters keep track of important dates, polling places, and ballot options.

In 2022, we:

  • Hosted our 15th GOVTalks, welcoming 119 attendees from 39 state organizations.
  • Presented 2 statewide webinars on social media and plain language skills to 90 attendees.
  • Trained 160 students through 22 on-demand LMS courses and 6 instructional webinars.

Technology Innovation

Screenshot of WAF spike in 2022

Our Cloudflare WAF ensured DDoS protection and 99.95% uptime. While several states’ websites succumbed to cyber attacks in 2022, GovHub was able to thwart an unprecedented number of malicious attempts thanks to the Cloudflare Web Application Firewall (WAF). To further ensure security, multi-factor authentication will become standard next year.

In 2022, GovHub handled:

  • 185+ million pageviews
  • 42+ million sessions
  • 1.6 million malicious requests blocked or challenged by the WAF in a 30-day span

Innovation is one of our tenets. We are not afraid to experiment and tackle problems with appropriate solutions. We take a methodical approach to trying new things until we find the right answer. This is how we built and continuously improve GovHub and how we tackle new work. We’re members of a larger civic tech community around the world that believes open digital government can improve efficiency and outcomes. Our client agencies rely on us to be abreast of trends, and we teach others what we learn through quarterly webinars, our Digital Academy program, annual GovTalks conference, blogs, and other training classes.

At the beginning of the Covid pandemic, we quickly piloted a chatbot on Georgia.gov, DPH, and DOL to help quell call center volume by providing answers to the most common questions from panicked constituents. We continued to improve the bot and tested several other vendor platforms to find a more long-term solution that complemented GovHub. For every initiative or engagement, we take the same disciplined approach. Our process ensures efficiency, transparency, and repeatability.

“DSGa guided our internal data team toward best practice coding and assisted us with setting up some testing…which was exactly what we needed to do to be able to assess the impact of changing design and approach.”
Malenka Warner,
Director of Communications,
Governor’s Office of Student Achievement

Human-Centered Delivery

Nothing gets to the heart of digital services more than our commitment to putting the constituent first. When envisioning a new Georgia.gov, we engaged IDEO, a consultancy that is known for its human-centered approach to solving problems. That work became foundational to how we think about the products we build and the people we serve. Unlike in the private sector, people often don’t have a choice about whether to interact with government websites. By having a full understanding of who, how, and why Georgians use our products, we can make those experiences as frictionless as possible.

One way we do that is by testing. Our team of UX and content strategists maps user journeys through our websites to make sure people are able to complete their tasks quickly and with confidence. This builds trust and makes their experience with the government as painless as possible. At the start of every agency engagement, we dive deep into the audience before attempting to offer a technology solution. At every turn, we measure our performance. To say this is uncommon in state government is an understatement. But Georgia is not like other states. The Georgia Analytics Program (GAP) leverages our third-party Siteimprove product to provide agencies with real-time data to ensure content quality, increase accessibility, and improve SEO. Through our GAP Consultation, we teach agencies to use data to drive their decision-making.

User Flow Chart

We completed a usability review with the Department of Revenue where we assessed the effectiveness of their website and identified ways they could streamline content delivery. Based on several rounds of user testing, it’s expected the recommended changes will improve task completion on the site.

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In 2022, we:

  • Conducted 14 user experience studies
  • Engaged with 44 participants through Orchard Growers.

Team Accomplishments

Featured Speakers

Jasmyne Epps and Rachel Hart presented sessions at DrupalCon GovSummit 2022

Nikhil Deshpande spoke at SXSW: Accessibility, Inclusion and Equity Beyond the Web

Awards and Achievements

Nikhil Deshpande won State Scoop's State Leadership of the Year award for 2022. 

He also was elected to the Drupal Association's Board of Directors.

Chelsea Shadowens completed Emory University's Women in Leadership Certificate course.

DSGa's work contributed to Georgia's A Grade in the Digital States Survey 2022.