The North Carolina Judicial Branch has launched the new public website for the unified court system, NCcourts.gov. The new site is mobile-friendly, accessible, and user-focused.
NCcourts.gov went live on Tuesday, June 19, replacing the former NCcourts.org. Webpages on the old site are automatically redirected to the new location.
“By unveiling a new and easy-to-use website, our court system is responding to the needs of our digital society,” Chief Justice Mark Martin said. “The website is our way to reach our citizens and give them easy, 24-hour access to information about our courts and the portal for online services. We continue looking for ways that new technology can reduce costs and improve the public’s access to court services, re-imagine how courts and citizens interact with each other, and ensure that our courts truly provide justice for all.”
“The courts are embracing technology to provide greater public access and to increase the public’s confidence in the courts,” said Supreme Court Associate Justice Barbara Jackson, who chaired the Technology Committee of the North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice (NCCALJ) and served as the sponsor for the website redesign project. “The new website is an essential technology building block to meet the needs of Judicial Branch stakeholders.”
OverviewThe website is the 24×7 public face of the North Carolina Judicial Branch. NCcourts.gov has been developed to align with both the Discovery Phase findings of the web redesign project and the recommendations in the Final Report of the North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice (NCCALJ). The website aims to address the following goals and result in a court system website that enables stakeholders (general public, media, judges, attorneys, clerks, court staff, legislators, government agencies, and researchers) to perform online interactions and transactions with the Judicial Branch anytime, anywhere, on any device.
Justice Jackson, along with the Judicial Branch Communications Office and a diverse, deep-reaching group of co-sponsors throughout the Judicial Branch worked to advise and help champion this project. During the Discovery Phase, research methods such as surveys, polls, and focus groups were used to engage various stakeholders to identify motivations and needs on behalf of the identified user groups to meet the guiding principles and public’s expectations of fairness, accessibility, transparency, efficiency, and effectiveness.
“The 21st century public expects to manage their lives and a host of other things remotely from their smartphones and other electronic devices,” Justice Jackson said. “We continue to modernize our courts to keep up with the digital revolution, and to make it as easy as possible for our stakeholders to interact with the court system and to conduct business with our courts.”
The project goals were designed around user-focused areas of website architecture, navigation, accessibility, and content to improve findability and usability. Analyzing the word density within the Discovery compendium, public survey, and NCCALJ final report, the most common keywords were asking for a website to provide a clear method to access information focusing on mobile devices.
By the Numbers
- 1,863 submissions of external (public) survey
- 26 stakeholders interviewed
- 40+ focus group participants: judicial officials and court staff, law librarians, leadership of the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, NCCALJ commissioners and staff, private attorneys
- 600+ pages Compendium of results
- 20+ new Help Topics written by 64 attorney experts
- 11 applications updated or new interfaces built
- 7,000 webpages reduced to 900 pages during full content audit
- ~3 million users per year
- 50.9% mobile usage
- 22 new videos produced to help explain court processes, programs, commissions, and routes of appeal
- 5 language translations provided for key content
- New closings / alerts display on all pages when needed
- Court dates will be easier to search and find
- Form search by keyword, subject, statute, and more
- New Help Topics detail common answers to court-related questions
- Improved navigation will reduce the number of clicks
- New data visualization to easily view and understand court statistics
- Judicial directory will make contact and courthouse information easier to find
- New Learn About the Court System section to help explain how the court system works
- Search function to easily find information needed
- Mobile-friendly, accessible, user-focused, and functions like a mobile app
- Web accessibility standards and best practices applied
- And much more! Go to NCcourts.gov.