City Seeking Input For Website Redesign

Brent Finnegan -- March 22nd, 2011

The City of Harrisonburg is seeking input from citizens as they plan to redesign the harrisonburgva.gov website.

The current Harrisonburg City website.

The City Manager’s Office announced a call for feedback Tuesday morning:

The last major design effort for the site was done in 2005.

“The internet is a fast moving space,” said Public Information Officer Miriam Dickler.  “What was cutting edge and the height of usability six years ago is now dated and not intuitive.  The website we have is good, but we know it could be better.”

City staff is working internally to address issues that they have identified.  In order to ensure that the site is useful to the public, the city is seeking volunteers to join small meetings to provide feedback.

What do you want in a municipal website? Last year Fast Company reviewed the best and worst government site designs, highlighting some embarrassingly horrible federal sites. If there was a common element among the best sites, it was “user-friendly,” easy-to-find information (often involving colorful infographics).

Those interested in sharing their ideas for a redesign can sign up on the city website.

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7 Responses to “City Seeking Input For Website Redesign”

  1. Ross says:

    They should start by removing “The Friendly City” as their slogan. Harrisonburg is far from being friendly.(as time will tell)

  2. Emmy says:

    While it’s certainly not the best website in the world, it isn’t the worst either. I can usually find what I want pretty easily. It doesn’t have music which is always a plus and visually it is pretty good. It could be a little more modern I guess, but overall I don’t think it needs a whole lot of changes.

  3. Lowell Fulk says:

    It seems like a pretty effective site to me. One thing I have learned is a certainty in life is that no matter what one does, somebody isn’t going to like it.
    So we simply do the best we can…
    But again, I think the site is well put together and attractive.

  4. Renee says:

    Ours isn’t the worst, but it could use some improvements. I’ve already send suggestions/problems to the contacts for the Harrisonburg Economic Development website.

    I’ll have to find out if there is a way to just email in some suggestions, because I don’t really want to take time to be a part of a focus group or meet in person. It seems like if they want to attract web-oriented people to make suggestions, they would create a way to do that online instead of in person.

    Maybe they can put out a survey form or something once they narrow down what they specifically need to ask to make design decisions.

  5. Thanks for your feedback. I hope at least a few of you will be able to join us for some of the input. While we are hoping to be able to have remote or online component as well, being able to ask questions of people as they are testing usability is very important to us. The website is due for an update, and we sincerely want it to be as usable for heavy web users and casual users alike. Please also feel free to send thoughts and comments to me at miriamd@harrisonburgva.gov.

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