After more than a year of planning and development, the new digital home for the Town of Parker made its debut in September. This redesign was completed with residents in mind, factoring in feedback we heard from the community, to enhance the user experience and more quickly connect residents with the information they need. Continue reading to learn more about our redesign process.
Why did the Town redesign the website?
To keep current with website design and content trends and advancements, the Town completes a website redesign/refresh every four years. The last redesign took place in 2014.
Did you get community feedback about what website changes they would like to see?
The Communications Department conducted an extensive public outreach process prior to the website redesign, including in-person community feedback meetings and online surveys, as well as the opportunity to provide project feedback through the Town of Parker’s online engagement portal, ww.LetsTalkParker.org. We also met with our current staff and Town Council (and provided them with an online survey option) to ensure we were considering all input and feedback. We received very consistent themes for improvement from all of the groups and individuals who participated.
What feedback did you hear?
We had a great amount of community, staff and Town Council participation in our redesign process and heard very consistent redesign feedback themes, including:
- Simplify content, navigation and design
- Design for mobile first
- Offer better ways to highlight important/frequently requested items so they are easier to find
- Organize content from user standpoint
- Improve the search tool
- Improve connectivity between departmental websites
Were the recommended improvements included in the new website?
We greatly appreciated all of the feedback that was received and worked hard to incorporate these recommendations into the website redesign.
- Simplified the website navigation: Our navigation categories have changed to focus on the reason people are visiting the site, including: Business; Development; Government; Residents; Visitors; and A to Z Directory. We hope the simplified and more targeted navigation and content will make it easy for users to find what they are looking for.
- Design for mobile first. When we launched our last website in 2014, the majority of users were accessing the Town website through a desktop computer. Things have changed in the last four years and more than half of our users are now viewing the website on mobile devices. The new website was designed with this in mind to ensure that all site elements stack in a way that works for mobile users, and that all features are easy to access and read.
- Offered more ways of finding information from the homepage. There’s just no way around it – the Town has a LOT of information on our website. To provide options for finding information, without being overwhelming, we’ve simplified our navigation menus, added a new “How Can I” section to highlight frequently requested items, and added an A to Z Directory. These additional options should make it easier for our users to find what they are looking for.
- Improve the search function. Staff has spent considerable time revising key words and meta tags on every website page to improve the search results, which has helped considerably. Our website provider, Civic Plus, is also working on future improvements to the search tool to make it even more functional.
- Improve connectivity between departmental websites. The Town has multiple websites (Town, Parks and Recreation, Police, Parker Arts and Economic Development). To improve connectivity, we’ve integrated important links from each of these departments into our new “A to Z Directory,” the graphic link options and the “How Do I” section. As well, we’ve noted which links under our “Departments” page direct you to a separate website.
- Promote engagement between residents and the Town. The Town has always taken a very proactive approach to providing residents with options to keep informed about Town programs, activities and decisions. Over the past several years, we have focused our efforts even more closely on increasing transparency and enhancing communication between the Town and our residents. To accomplish this, the Town has rolled out many new communication tools, including Let’s Talk Parker, Active Development Tour Map, an increased social media presence, and others which are prominently displayed on the new Parker Online homepage under the “How Can I” section.
How can I learn to navigate the new website?
To introduce users to the new website and its features, we created a video walkthrough. This video can be found on our YouTube channel, the Town’s Facebook page and the Let’s Talk Parker Website Redesign project page.
Why did the Town spend money on a website redesign amid budget reductions?
The website redesign process began in 2017 and was paid for prior to the 2018 budget reductions. To keep current with website design and content trends and advancements, the Town completes a website redesign/refresh every four years, which is included in the contract with our website host. This arrangement allows the site to be redesigned every four years for approximately $5,600, which is much cheaper than the usual cost of a stand-alone site redesign. As www.ParkerOnline.org has become an increasingly vital way to connect residents with information and resources, Town staff viewed the redesign as a necessary process to enhance the user experience.
How can I give feedback on the new website?
We’d love to hear your feedback so we can continue to improve our new website. You can email your comments to Elise Penington at email@example.com or call 303.805.3113. We have also added an option for providing feedback to the Website Redesign project page at www.LetsTalkParker.org.