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New version of eGovernment portal Eesti.ee goes live

A revamped version of the Estonian eGovernment portal Eesti.ee was released at the end of November 2011. Users have been invited to express their comments on how the portal could be further improved.

The portal's content quality manager, Mr Aarne Seppel from the Estonian Information System's Authority, said: "The portal update process began two years ago when we surveyed a group of users in order to identify their needs. A great job has been done so far but one last step remains to be taken - we want to configure the portal's final version based on its users' feedback. With this release, we are now ready for a new consultation period where we will be considering people's feedback and give the portal a final touch."

"The portal will be technically safe and convenient to use, but its real value will lie in its content," Mr Seppel added. "We have gathered more than 200 public services, 400 topics and 2 500 contacts. Two major changes concern the information search functionality and the user's personal folder," he said.

The new version of the portal makes the search for information easier as services, articles and contacts are better interconnected. They are structured around main fields (e.g. Social benefits and assistance, Housing, Family, etc) that then break into more specific subheadings. After entering a keyword in the portal's search engine, results are displayed either as a whole or structured by section, namely 'eServices' (E-teenused, in Estonian), 'Topics' (Teemad, in Estonian) and 'Contacts' (Kontaktid, in Estonian). The most used services and the most popular topics can be accessed directly from the respective homepage sections. In addition, a tag cloud appears on the homepage to provide paths to related services and topics.

"We look forward to receiving, in particular, feedback that will help us enhance the search functionality. The portal editors added the official, bureaucratic and often colloquial keywords (...). For the next three months, users are invited to collect as many pertinent keywords that we will associate to services and topics," Mr Seppel explained.

Another important innovation is the 'My Data' section. It stores all of a user's application records and documents as well as email communications, calendar of events, notifications, etc. In the 'My Documents' folder, users can create and sign documents electronically and share them with others.

My Data includes former tools (such as digital signatures) and many other new opportunities. For instance, when one sent a question to public authorities, they do not need to check daily if a reply is available; instead, they will receive an official email message from the portal informing them that the answer has arrived. As My Data is a new environment, users can click small question mark icons to access short explanatory texts.

Comments can be sent directly through the portal's Write and Ask form or by emailing help at ria dot ee.

The portal's update process has been part financed with EU structural funds.

Background information

Eesti.ee was launched in 2007 as the result of a merger between former 'State Information portal' together with the 'Citizen portal', creating a single integrated service. In 2010, the number of visits to the portal was 2.7 million and it rose to 3.2 million in 2011.

Translation by http://www.epractice.eu

Topic: State Portal

Added 21.02.2012

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