City Website Makeover
The City of Austin’s new website launched last week. It’s still in beta, which means it’s still in the finals stages of development.
Web content manager Chris Florence spoke with KUT’s Matt Largey about the changes made on this edition of Changing Austin.
The biggest difference that people are going to see is that the old, institutional, kind of antiquated look and feel of the site is gone now and we’ve replaced it. It was actually a 2002 design and there had not been any real significant change to the architecture or any of the site until about two years ago at this time when we did some very simple things just in terms of setting up some navigation portals.
Different people find information in different ways. We wanted to reward people that like to just go to a search engine and immediately throw in some search terms and find what they’re looking for, so we’ve brought search very central on the home pages.
This site is fully architected around user groups. There are five user groups: residents, business users, the development community, government users (which might include city employees), and people who are interested in the environment.
A lot of the application driven things that people depend on – the interactive permitting, the vendor service system, the ability to look on some of the online official distribution memos – all that information is certainly still on the site.
If you had bookmarks saved from the old site, however, those links may be broken. Through January 12, every page of the new site features a black feedback box where users are encouraged to explain any problems or make suggestions.
Anything that doesn’t get fixed by January 12 will be tackled strategically in 2012, says Florence.
Visit the City of Austin’s recently revamped website at AustinTexas.gov.