Sandy’s City’s Website Getting a User-Friendly Makeover
May 05, 2016 02:38PM
● By Stacy Nielsen
By Stacy Nielsen | firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandy - Sandy City is updating their website and it’s said to be ‘resident-centric’ as the city has already made significant progress with the re-design being managed by the city’s recently hired webmaster.
“As we were looking over our chief themes or the reasons why we felt like a re-design was necessary, some of the goals were accessibility and wanting the residents to have a pleasant easy experience,” Sandy City’s Public Information Officer Nicole Martin said when providing City Council with an update on the site’s progress.
The site makeover is said to provide an intuitive experience, be easy to find, easy to navigate, visually appealing and to be used not only as a promotional tool but an effective communication tool for the city.
This undertaking is approximately a 26-week project and they are about a third of the way done. Initially, the city was hopeful the site would be completed by the middle of April and that has been pushed back to sometime in May.
With that being said, in regards to the new design, the city looked at where residents were going on the current website the most and determined a specific menu that will be put at the top of the new homepage. The menu includes: parks and recreation, jobs, pay bills, events, contact us and e-notify.
“This is a resident tool, so we chose to put those things we know the residents want to visit and make those the first things that they see,” Martin said.
Residents can also opt in to receive notifications from various departments with the new e-notify personalization tool of what they want to see from the city. Also the search bar will no longer be at the bottom since searching is said to be one of the primary ways to find information on a website as users know what they want to find and typically type it into a search bar and go directly to that page as opposed to clicking through a menu.
However, there is a site menu that acts as a table of contents on the left side of the page, with social media buttons on the right side of the page, and events being in the upper quarter section of the site menu; there will also be a social share feature enabling residents to share content they find valuable with their neighbors.
Additionally, the city receives a report card from the Open Government Transparency every year that grades cities on how transparent their materials are, this is being put right up front as one of four screens, done to indicate that Sandy City is transparent with all of its documents and having those documents that residents might want in an accessible place. The Government tab on the website, when clicked through to get to the agendas and minutes, under City Council, residents may notice the new format and design that links to the documents of the items that are on the corresponding agendas, enabling them to review and or download the information.
There will be multiple ways in which residents can search information including a “How do I” section where the city has anticipated the concerns of the residents and they will be directed to the departments that handle those concerns. While each department within the city is responsible for maintaining their content and in keeping it up to date, residents may see a responsive they may have not seen thus far as it’s said that departments now have capabilities they did not have before that increases their timeliness to respond.
“Our residents are busy, they don’t have a lot of time to navigate through our website, as convenient as we can make this and as good of an experience that we can make this, the more there’s a chance they’re going to revisit,” Martin said.