By Mina Williams Herald writer
EDMONDS — After public comments that its website was cumbersome to navigate, the city of Edmonds has introduced an improved version.
“They reported that they were actually using Google to search our website for what they wanted rather then use the site’s own search function,” said Carl Nelson, chief information officer. “The old URL was difficult, the design was dated. We wanted to show photos of the city and really make a statement about who Edmonds is. Still, simplicity was key.”
The City Council added the appropriation to construct the new site, www.edmondswa.gov, into the 2011 budget.
Now information is consolidated into four general categories: home, government, services and visiting. The broader categories were selected with the understanding that government and services evolve over time.
The new site includes functions to enable people to apply for a business license online. A constantly updated master calendar will help visitors, residents and business owners view upcoming events and city holidays.
“Departments now have the tools to keep the areas of the site current,” Nelson said. “It’s a better conduit for every department. It’s an effective way to draw attention to things the city wants people to be involved in.”
Drop-down menus compress larger sections and require a click to navigate to a new page. Viewers previously were forced to scroll down a page and wade through information.
Animated maps visually connect boundary and population figures.
Over the coming months the city is soliciting comments to further improve the site; a feedback form is on the site.
“We used a considered and thoughtful approach,” Nelson said. “Part of this is also migration. We won’t tear down the old website. There simply will be no fresh information posted after Nov. 1.”