Capitol Alert

CalPERS unveils new website

CalPERS’ glass tower at the fund’s Sacramento headquarters.
CalPERS’ glass tower at the fund’s Sacramento headquarters. Sacramento Bee

CalPERS on Monday launched a redesigned website intended to make it easier to use on all electronic devices.

The new took more than a year to develop. Its 2014-15 budget of $586,000 covered expenses for the design, programming, software, server hardware, consulting services and staff training, among other things.

CalPERS staff did most of the work after “extensive input” from more than 1,000 members, employers and other interested parties, according to a report issued at the fund’s June board meeting. The agency spent $1.1 million on the project over two fiscal years to supplement the in-house work.

Some of the most noticeable changes include a larger font size, less clutter and a page dedicated to retiree information. About 1 in 5 users access the site via a mobile device, so the new website maintains its format while adjusting its width to fit smartphones, tablets and PCs.

The site itself is less dense, paring the old from 1,300 Web pages to just under 700 Web pages. Staff accomplished the feat by removing duplicated and outdated information and by rewriting content in plain language.

For example, the former site spread information about eligibility and enrollment for health benefits has been distilled from six pages to one. Forms and publications on the old site: 45 pages. On the new site: One page with filtering functions that quickly narrow the search to the desired document.

CalPERS officials say they’ll continue to tweak the website as they hear feedback and track usage.