AUSTIN — The Texas General Land Office today unveiled a website - www.glo.texas.gov - with a sleek, corporate feel that reflects the professional evolution of the state's oldest agency.
"The Texas General Land Office operates more like a business than any other state agency, and this new website reflects that," said Jerry Patterson, Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office. "I hope everyone will take a moment to visit www.glo.texas.gov, take a look around and tell us what you think."
The website redesign is the first in more than 15 years for the Land Office. The old website had grown to more than 20,000 pages, had many bad links, outdated information, circular navigation and did not market the agency to the public in a positive, unified way.
On a visitor's first visit to www.glo.texas.gov, Patterson's image springs to life and speaks a welcoming message: "Welcome to the new Texas General Land Office website. I hope you'll take a moment to learn more about the agency and our mission. Let us know how we can help, and thanks for your interest." On a visitor's second visit, Patterson welcomes them back. The image is silent, unless clicked upon, after that.
"This website represents a whole new approach to how the Land Office interacts with Texans and our business customers," Patterson said. "This redesign shifts the website away from bureaucracy and jargon to present the agency in a much more organized, easy to use way."
The Land Office's new homepage now features a stunning photo of the Guadalupe Mountains, but is meant to be minimalist and focus a visitor's attention on the top agency news, user-friendly navigation and an innovative display of the agency's best known public programs. A new feature called MegaMenu allows visitors to jump to almost any page on the website in one or two clicks - a well-understood concept in Web marketing.
"We've had teams of smart people working for months to make this website as easy to use as it can be," Patterson said. "It's now simple enough that even I can use it."
But the Land Office website is not just a marketing tool. It's a business tool. For example, in the first four days of this month, the Land Office is expected to receive approximately $40 million in routine oil and gas earnings dedicated to the Permanent School Fund. Private oil and gas companies producing on school fund lands report how much they owe via downloadable forms every day. It's vital the Land Office's website not only works well, but is easy to use.
The website redesign was long overdue - the better part of five years in the making, said Land Office Communications Director Mark Loeffler, who led the effort.
"The website represents an introduction to our agency for many Texans, so it has been 're-imagined‘ with them in mind," Loeffler said. "From easy navigation, jargonless text and 'How Do I‘ questions, to consistent use of images and color, this website sets a new standard for state agencies."
As of October 1, 2010, all visitors to the old URL (glo.state.tx.us) will be redirected to the new URL (glo.texas.gov).
New features on the website include: