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By Arianna Hunt

TheStatehouseFile.com

July 5, 2023

The Indiana General Assembly recently updated its website “with improved design and functionality” intended to provide a more user-friendly experience.

Detailed information about the IGA, the annual legislative session, committees, legislation, laws and publications is available there.

“The last few years, we have been at the end of the life cycle of our old website, which was probably decade-old technology,” said Adam Brown, director of the Office of Technology Services at the Indiana Legislative Services Agency.

With over 20,000 unique users daily during peak times, the new website is designed to offer faster page loads and ease of access as well as speeding up the process of legislators releasing documents.

The “find my legislator function” is one of the most popular used by the public, Brown said.

The function, in the upper-right-hand corner of the home page, allows users to find their state senator, state representative and congressional delegates and their contact information by entering a home address.

The “find a bill” button, also in the upper right-hand corner, has a search bar that makes it convenient to search for bills.

“One of the pages I’m most proud of, that is being used more, is what we call the dynamic calendar,” Brown said. The interactive calendar shows users the bills on the schedule for the day, as well as amendments filed and the bill’s sponsors, authors, and co-authors.

“So as you’re watching the session or in attendance of the floor session, you can actually follow along with the calendar online and see all the documents being heard on the floor that day,” Brown said.

Although the look and feel of the website is updated to be more user friendly, many of the buttons are in the same place because the public and staff were already very used to the old layout, Brown said.

“Most of what you’ll see is session documents, the laws of the state of Indiana and publications from our fiscal division,” Brown said.

Revamping the website started 18-24 months ago, with four to six months of beta testing.

The website was moved to Amazon Web Services (AWS). Brown said it’s a more economical approach for a website like the IGA’s that has heavy use during legislative sessions and less use in the summer. AWS will be able to adjust the number of servers used for the website based on demand.

“It’s hard to have the infrastructure, the servers and the capacity to meet the highest demands as well as being economical when your demand is lower,” Brown said.

Adrianna Hunt is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students. The illustration accompanying this story was created by TheStatehouseFile.com.

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