City Hall will redesign Web site
May 19, 2009
Park City has tapped a California firm to rebuild City Hall’s Web site.
People looking for jobs with the local government or looking for bus routes and schedules, among the most popular parts of the site, should have an easier time once the work is done, an official says.
Scott Robertson, who directs City Hall’s information-technology services, expects the redesigned Web site will be unveiled in the fall, as the busy ski season approaches. The Park City Council recently agreed to a $36,729 deal with a firm called Vision Internet in Santa Monica, Calif., for the work. The firm’s Web site touts Vision Internet as an expert in government sites.
"It should be more geared to what someone, a citizen, might need," Robertson says.
Robertson wants the site, http://www.parkcity.org, to be easier to navigate. He says, for instance, he wants people to get to the page they want with fewer links. Robertson says the site now "becomes muddled."
He also wants the redone Web site to have expanded capabilities, such as allowing people to subscribe to an updates section that might have information about road closures, as an example.
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City Hall developed the current site six years ago, and major redesigns are standard in the industry every four or five years, Robertson wrote in a report submitted to Mayor Dana Williams and the City Council before the funding was approved.
Twelve firms submitted bids for the work. They ranged between $21,160 and $57,750. The report says Vision Internet has "extensive municipal government experience."
City Hall’s Web site grew in popularity quickly during the 2002 Winter Olympic era, when Park City hosted approximately half of the competitions and lots of the celebrations, but Robertson says the numbers leveled off in the years since the Games.
In April, the site recorded 95,394 page views, down slightly from the same month the year before. The busiest month for the Web site since December 2007 was July 2008, when 135,258 page views were tallied, a report provided by Robertson indicates.
After the front page, the most popular pages on the Web site are those of the transit system, the Park City Ice Arena and the Human Resources Department, the report says. Others pages that are popular include those of the Park City Golf Club, the Racquet Club and the Police Department, which posts its most-wanted list and crime statistics on the site.
Services online now include water billing. The current site also allows someone to download numerous documents like applications for business licenses, forms for appealing parking tickets and applications for Old Town parking permits.
The front page of the Web site this week promoted the 125th anniversary of Park City’s founding, Park City Visioning, which involves City Hall and regular Parkites charting a course for the city’s future, and a survey about carbon-dioxide emissions.
Robertson says the redone Web site will be a precursor to City Hall providing more services online. He says, perhaps, the Building Department will post permits on the site.
"The whole structure will likely be changed," he says.
Tom Johnson, who is with Vision Internet, says the redesigned site will provide a more elaborate system for people to search http://www.parkcity.org, such as an ‘I want’ feature that allows someone to type in words they want information about. He says drop-down menus on the site will be upgraded as well.
The firm specializes in local-level governments and has more than 200 of them as clients, says Johnson, who spent a ski season in Park City in 1990.
Other additions will include a calendar that City Hall staffers can update with events and an e-notification system that will e-mail information from the city government to people who subscribe to the service.
"Our site design is going to be spectacular imagery," Johnson says, anticipating "world-class graphic design."