The history of the State Portal
The primary objective of the portal that was opened on 12 March 2003 was to share information. At that time, the ability to provide the opportunities that are available today was still far in the future. Today, thanks to developments and improvements, eesti.ee is a safe channel through which citizens, entrepreneurs, as well as officials can communicate with the state.
On 12 March 2003, the Department of State Information Systems (RISO) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications opened www.eesti.ee, an information portal for citizens www.eesti.ee.
The new information portal gave people information about their rights and obligations in Estonia. In addition, the portal provided practical advice on how to deal with state institutions.
Opening the state portal was an important step in ensuring that, in the future, dealing with the institutions of the state, the third sector, and the private sector would be easier for people. The content of the information portal was updated constantly and the topics that were planned to be available in Estonian were finished within a year.
Acquiring information and making queries occurs in separate portals. To use e-services, the information portal directs the users to the citizen’s portal. In the environment for making queries of the citizen’s portal, the citizens can view their data from different databases and registers. The portal can be entered through the internet bank or with an ID-card.
The new portal was developed from the previous e-country portal www.riik.ee. The Estonian Informatics Centre is responsible for its content.
The portal is updated constantly. In 2005, the Russian and English content of eesti.ee is unveiled. At the same time, the new concept ‘Your Estonia’ is introduced and the development of the information portal receives a new direction.
The objective of the concept ‘Your Estonia’ is to make the portal as well as the design of the information architecture more user-friendly. The information systems that have been developed so far have mainly been based on the systems used by institutions and ministries and are very uncomfortable and confusing for users.
Now, more attention is paid to the opportunities of entrepreneurs, as well. The official @eesti.ee e-mail system begins to offer services also to entrepreneurs, so the e-mails sent by the state would reach the correct e-mail address through a reliable route.
The e-services of the information portal and the citizen’s portal are still separate. Instead of the forms that had previously been available online, the development of new e-forms that can be filled out and sent in the portal begins. The development is led by the information system authority of that time.
In the September of 2007, an important and welcome change is made – the State Portal eesti.ee is completed.
The new State Portal combines the previous information portal and citizen’s portal. The information and services are divided for citizens, entrepreneurs, and officials based on their role. Now, e-services and information are available in one unified portal.
By 2008, all of the former independent state portals have been redirected to the state portal eesti.ee (in addition to the citizen’s portal, the e-country portal www.riik.ee, and the X-Road portal). This makes finding information about the state easier.
The opportunity to log in with mobile-ID makes using the services of the State Portal easier. In developing the State Portal, more attention is paid to user friendliness and increasing the number of users.
- One month after the unified State Portal eesti.ee is opened, nearly 110,000 people, including 8,000 people abroad, mainly from Finland, Sweden, and the U.S., have visited the portal.
- During that time, about 19,000 people and 17,000 companies are using the official e-mail system @eesti.ee.
In 2009, eesti.ee is given a new logo. A year later, an information campaign is organised to reach the people living in rural areas who could benefit from the services of the State Portal the most. By the autumn of 2011, more content is provided for entrepreneurs. The navigation scheme and the design of the website are more user-friendly than before.
The new portal includes more than 200 services, 400 articles and 2,500 contacts. Two of the more important developments are the information search engine and a user’s folder of personal data.
The creation of new services is made easier. The State Portal starts offering versatile options for using e-services to institutions, for example:
- sending reminders to people with the notification service
- the ability of authentication via ID-card, mobile-ID, or the internet bank in information systems outside the State Portal
- accepting electronical applications through the State Portal.
Since 2011, the developer and administrator of the State Portal is the Information System Authority.
On the 10th anniversary (2013) of the State Portal, a homepage for users that are logged in is completed, which gathers information about a person from different registers to one page. This allows users to have a quick and easy overview of their data on one page.
In 2014, entrepreneur’s notifications are added to the highly popular Traffic Registry notifications.
In 2015, 815 e-services are available in eesti.ee. During 2014, the portal has users from more than 200 countries and 9,000 cities. The most popular activities on the site include viewing the menu of My data, logging into SAIS, adding data to the certificate of temporary incapacity for work, and viewing prescriptions.
In December 2015, the terms of notifications of eesti.ee are changed. With forwarding their @eesti.ee e-mail address, the person gives consent to state institutions to send official documents and notifications to them to this e-mail address. This also means that the person grants consent for the electronic delivery of documents if consent is required by the law.
In 2016, the updating process of the technologically out-of-date portal begins. In addition, the appearance and design of eesti.ee change and the topic groups of articles are ranked by popularity.
On 19 June 2017, the updated portal is revealed to users – at first, the article section which can be read without logging into the portal. The pages of different topics are illustrated with photos taken by Estonian photographers. The upgraded portal is also easy to use with a phone or a tablet.
Two portals remain in use – the new portal includes articles and the old one includes e-services.
To provide better content, every article is accompanied by a question of whether the user got an answer for their question or what question they are still looking an answer for.
During the upgrading of eesti.ee, the e-services that have been created over time are checked to avoid duplicated, low-quality, and dated e-services. Eesti.ee is still a gateway to the e-country by providing information and an overview about e-services in one place.
In the spring of 2017, a data monitoring system is implemented. This allows people to get an overview of the state institutions that have used their data.
In 2017, eesti.ee includes 1,330 articles, 154 services, and 2,866 contacts in Estonian, Russian, and English.
The most popular activities on the site include viewing the menu of My data, adding data to the certificate of temporary incapacity for work, and viewing prescriptions and benefits for incapacity for work. The most popular article is about national, public, and school holidays.
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Last modified 8. March 2018
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