Working on the Code for America Digital Front Door initiative, our focus was to make cities’ online present more useful and accessible for their residents. We decided to redesign city websites with four focuses in mind.
Service Delivery: Centering the content around service delivery as opposed to news and documentation. This meant focusing the majority of the content on information or services that helped residents achieve an objective.
Accessibility: Reaching digital users where they were. This meant in their language and across desktop and mobile devices.
Intuitive information archicture: Restructuring the information architecture that reflected the way residents thought as opposed to how the bureaucracy of government was organized. This meant getting departments to ditch department websites and collaborate to create one city website that focused on user needs.
Visual Consistency: Providing a central pattern library that both cities and third party vendors could use to create a consistent interface
Based on prior research we did with six major cities across the US as well as learnings from the successful gov.uk launch, we designed a cross-browser responsive mobile website template, a HTML/CSS pattern library, and a content strategy that expressed our opinions about what the future of city websites could look like.
Our work is ongoing in a collaboration with the city of Oakland, CA to bring this to life.