The project was a complete custom re-design and ground-up development that included significant Cascade Server customization and integration work.
The website includes personal greeting videos from Commissioner Jerry Patterson, and multiple yet consistent page designs delivering content for each functional area of the Texas General Land Office.
With over 60 custom Cold Fusion applications integrated within the site, the Texas General Land Office is able to communicate more effectively with its website users and customers as well as conduct secured online business transactions.
In 1836, the Republic of Texas Congress formed the General Land Office to manage the public domain. The charge was to collect and keep records, provide maps and surveys, and issue titles. In addition to encouraging settlement of public lands via land grants, scrip redeemable in land was used to raise cash to finance the Texas Revolution and the expenses of the young nation.
Because the federal government would not take Texas' land as debt payments, Texas entered the Union owning its public land. Also, unlike other Gulf states, Texas owned its submerged lands - or tidelands - three marine leagues (about 10.3 miles) into the Gulf of Mexico. This proved to be a bounty that would yield rich rewards for the Lone Star State for generations.
The Texas Constitution of 1876 set aside half of Texas' remaining public lands to establish a Permanent School Fund (PSF), to help finance public schools. State legislators intended for this land to be sold and the proceeds be deposited into the PSF. Over the next century, deposits to the PSF would be an inexhaustible source of revenue because only interest income from the fund could be spent and would be apportioned among the state's public schools.
The Texas General Land Office legacy website consisted of over 22,000 static web pages. The site had continually grown for over a decade via multi-departmental contributions using Dreamweaver and other HTML editors. The site was difficult to navigate and used multiple navigational approaches and layouts to deliver site content. The site was integrated with over 60 Cold Fusion applications, many of which provided mission critical dynamic features and secured transactions.
In February 2010, the Texas General Land Office began a focused implementation effort by engaging Robert L. Michaels and Jordan E. King to develop and integrate a fully functional e-commerce enabled website for the agency.
Robert and Jordan leveraged Land Office Communications Director Mark Loeffler's creative vision and user interface design concepts to deliver a vastly improved user experience.
A consolidated navigational approach that leverages a main"mega menu" system combined with logical sub-navigation layout was developed, enabling site visitors to access areas of interest much more quickly and easily. Downstream functional areas possess individual color palettes and layout elements that provide intuitive visual cues combined with "breadcrumb" navigation ensuring site visitors know where they are within the site.
New Cascade Server applications were developed leveraging java and AJAX to deliver complex features including custom site search engine, image gallery, video gallery and streaming, event calendar, state lands for sale, coastal grants, historical maps and many more.
Multiple Cold Fusion legacy applications were integrated into the new website, many of which provide significant revenue for the state via secured online transactions.
Cascade Server and website environments were implemented, providing extreme management control and flexibility for Texas Land Office IT staff of web, database and secured servers.
Internal technical and editorial staff have been trained and site management has been successfully transitioned to internal agency resources.
In October 2010, the Texas General Land Office launched the new Cascade Server driven website. The site delivers compelling user experiences in an easy to understand and navigate framework.
By providing combined services that included project management, creative development, user interface integration, custom Hannon Hill Cascade Server integration, legacy systems integration, editorial management support as well as technical and systems consulting, the Michaels/King team successfully delivered a leading-edge web presence.
The multi-level website is delivered as logical components, which are visually cued via individual color palettes and design elements, greatly enhancing ease-of-use and access. Complicated secured transactions have been simplified, enhancing revenue transacted via http://www.glo.texas.gov.
(800) 705-2642 toll free worldwide