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State redesigns veteran website

April 12, 2017 at 10:33 p.m.

Texas has redesigned the Texas Veterans Portal, at Texas.gov/Veterans, to better connect veterans and their families to the benefits and assistance they earned through their military service.

When military personnel transition out of the armed services, many struggle to find jobs, get health care and adjust to civilian life.

According to a news release, Texas.gov/Veterans has been updated to provide easier access to employment, health care, education and other veteran-specific services.

"For more than 10 months, we have worked to create a site we believe will honor and serve our valued Texas armed service members, their families and survivors," said Thomas Palladino, Texas Veterans Commission executive director.

Texas veterans played an important role in the redesign effort.

In conjunction with the University of North Texas Design Research Center, veterans tested the site to review the usability of both the previous portal and the redesigned version.

Based on feedback from veterans and the seven Texas government agencies that participated in content and design development, the site now features:

Responsive design to better accommodate users who access the website via mobile devices.

Improved layout and organization of information to clearly highlight the most important topics veterans, their families and survivors need.

The addition of a search tool to help visitors who want to seek information that way.

The site launched in November, with nearly 50 percent of visits coming from a tablet or mobile device, and the portal's average page load time has improved by nearly 30 percent.

About 5 percent of user sessions involve a search, and the average number of pages visited has dropped from 3.9 to 2.5, which indicates that the new topic-based information architecture is straightforward and easy-to-understand, helping users locate what they need without searching for or clicking through as many pages.

Erin Hutchins, general manager of NIC Texas, the company that manages Texas.gov said the website provides nearly 2 million veterans with the best possible access to crucial veteran-related information and resources.

"The Texas Veterans Portal serves this purpose by providing online access to the services and benefits Texas veterans have earned on behalf of themselves, their families, caregivers and survivors," she said.

Since its launch in November, the Texas Veterans Portal has received more than 60,000 visits, she said. "We think that's a testament to this successful new service."


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