ITD Director Dave Ekern unabashedly indicated upon his arrival that he would like to see the department emerge as a technology leader nationally. Two new milestones have been reached in what already is becoming a successful journey.
Last week the Transportation Department received top awards from the National Transportation Public Affairs Workshop for the recent redesign of its Internet site and for its innovative use of Web technology to deliver a weekly newsletter to employees.
Awards were announced Saturday (Sept. 10) at the workshop in Rehoboth Beach, Del. Judges awarded a near perfect score (179 out of a possible 180 points) for Web site development with a consultant. The project, led by Webmaster Steve Jackson and public affairs specialist Darla Christiansen, was completed largely without outside assistance. A graphic designer helped with creating a template for the Web site banner.
ITD staff members and Web designers were responsible for establishing the overall look of the site, for integrating related pages and for ensuring they all function seamlessly.
“I like the rotating banner on top of the home page,” wrote one judge. “This makes the site look fresh and new. It has a very clean look with blue and white colors.” Another judge wrote: “Great Web site; very well thought out. You did your homework to find out what your customers want and then delivered on that.”
A third judge complemented ITD on the use of graphics and photos and said information is available in a “very user friendly, visually appealing format.”
The ITD Transporter, a weekly Web publication that informs employees and the public about important department activities, was recognized as an outstanding Print-Electronic Newsletter. ITD was among the first state DOTs to begin publishing its newsletter on the Web.
It is a central component of the department’s Intranet site.
“It is very creative to use the newsletter as the default page for employees’ computers,” wrote one judge. “(The Transporter) makes me want to revamp our newsletter. If NTPAW is about stealing good ideas, this is definitely one I plan to borrow.”
“I love the links to transportation-related news stories. I can’t believe this is weekly,” wrote another judge. “Making this accessible from the Internet to the public is a great resource to anyone interested in transportation.
The Transporter received 178 points out of a possible 180.