Shawnee Dispatch

City of Shawnee reveals new website redesign

Shawnee officials hope new look will be more user-friendly for residents

January 2, 2018

If you’ve visited the City of Shawnee’s website in the past week, you may have noticed it’s much different.

The city unveiled its new redesigned website late last month.

The sleek new design features bright vivid photos and a cleaner home page.

City officials started working towards a redesign last year, after being told constantly by residents and visitors the site was hard to navigate.

“A city’s website is typically the first place people stop to get a feel for the city, whether they want to move here or open a business here,” said Julie Breithaupt, the city’s communications director. “The old look was text heavy and it didn’t really use a lot of images or videos. We wanted to make the site more user-friendly and modern.”

Over the past year, city officials sat down with experts from the web design firm CivicLive to start the process.

They poured over dozens of other city websites to gather inspiration and gain ideas.

They also spent months reorganizing the site in preparation.

Representatives from each city department had to sift through nearly 2,000 website pages to find what information to keep, what to toss and what to combine.

“That was pretty tedious and time-consuming, but it had to be done,” said Breithaupt. “There was a lot of outdated information on our site. But going through page by page was also a great way to map out how we wanted our new site to navigate.”

Now, the website has 500 pages.

When the site was ready to launch, the city tested it out first.

It e-mailed links of the site to residents, business owners and other people, along with a survey for feedback.

More than 125 people responded.

City officials sat down and read each result.

“We made tweaks, such as making the font thicker and darker, because some people were finding it hard to read, and we added a home button,” she said. “We appreciated how a lot of people took time to fill out the survey and their feedback was very valuable.”

She said city staff is pretty pleased with the result, and she hopes everyone else is too.

The new site features more photos and videos on the main page, the calendar is easier to navigate and details about big projects, such as Westbrooke Green, are more prominently and conveniently displayed.

There are also quick links to pages, such as the Parks & Recreation department, events and construction projects.

The city also unveiled redesigned websites for Shawnee Town 1929, Shawnee Great Grillers and Old Shawnee Days.

“We’re eager for people to start using (the site),” she said. “We hope people like it and find what they’re looking for easier.”

To see the new look, visit cityofshawnee.org.

Originally published at: http://www.shawneedispatch.com/news/2018/jan/02/city-shawnee-reveals-new-website-redesign/