Cobourg’s Communication Officer, Ashley Purdy, made a presentation to Council on November 13 about changes to the Town’s web site. In August 2017, Ashley issued a survey and there were 55 responses to the 17 questions and the changes are in direct response to this feedback. The upgrade was scheduled to be launched today. Most of the comments and changes related to site navigation – with a large site and a wide diversity of reasons to access the site, this is always a problem. The site relies on Search to a large extent and access to that is now made easier with the search box now very obvious. But let’s look at Ashley’s presentation.
Extracts from Presentation – see link below for full document.
- Why Redesign? Reason 5: Because according to a recent study done by Stanford University, approximately 75% of people will judge your credibility based solely on the design of your website.
- Public Engagement: Excellent and thoughtful feedback from citizens
- Likes: Easy, Organized, Logical, Colourful, Comprehensive, Accessible, Calendar, Menus, Upbeat, Informative, Modern, Fonts, Phone, Search, Updated.
Likes Runners Up: At least someone’s trying to get it right; Better than Port Hopes; There isn’t much I do like about it. Sorry; Better than old one I guess.
- Least liked: Busy, Overwhelming, Search, Cluttered, Colourful, Confusing, Calendars.
Least Liked Runners Up: An octopus with too many tentacles; Main page hurts my senior eyes; Not enough coverage of Town events; Too busy.
What Information have you looked for?
|Event Calendar/Things to do||38|
|News & Notices||31|
|Council & Committee Information||28|
Runners up: Bylaw info, Election and Library
Web site Changes
These are mostly navigation changes and label changes. As of 15 November, not all are fully implemented.
- Improved and more prominent access to Search function – it’s now in the middle of the home page.
- Better listing of staff contact information – it is now much more comprehensive and the link is at the top of the page.
- Add direct home page links to most requested pages/sections – notably News and Engagement Centre and Events Calendar
- Better information on main page about upcoming council meetings and links to You-Tube videos of previous meetings
- Calendar will include more events including those not organized by the Town (in progress – an ongoing task).
- Tourism and Town’s Calendar will be synchronized– citizens will be able to submit events (in progress)
- Adds a listing of other Town web sites – e.g. Venture 13, Tourist site etc. (not yet implemented)
All in-all, significant improvements – and as Ashley says – continually improving. She invites feedback at: email@example.com
I would add that it’s impossible to optimize a web site for all possible users – there are always compromises. To help people find their way through the Town’s site, I have provided a “Guide” that works for the way I look for information. Go here. There is also a calendar here. It includes Town organized events plus many others.
Download Ashley’s Powerpoint presentation here. Pdf format.