July 29, 2014 - The City of Ann Arbor announced today that it has launched a redesigned website in an effort to enhance online transparency, increase access to important city information and create a more user-friendly site for its residents, businesses and visitors.
The streamlined and newly designed website allows the city to still provide a tremendous amount of information about multiple services, but in a streamlined and easier-to-navigate format. While the website does have a new look and feel, it also includes enhanced user features including:
- Multiple navigation entry points: Enjoy, Business and Democracy.
- What Do You Need quick-launch menu.
- New calendar system with RSS feed.
- Social media integration.
- Report a Problem, new A2 Fix It online citizen-request app.
- Responsive design that enables content to conform to the visitor's device.
- Increased accessibility to information due to ADA design and compatibility testing.
- Enhanced Parks and Recreation site.
"The city's website is a valuable communication tool for visitors, businesses and residents, but due to the vast amount of information on the website, it had been become increasingly hard to navigate and was not user friendly," said Tom Crawford, City of Ann Arbor chief financial officer and interim IT director. "Due to a tremendous amount of site architecture updating paired with a design refresh, I hope users find that A2gov is easier to navigate and offers new and improved tools to engage with the city."
Website Redesign Background
In 2012, the city worked with The Understanding Group (TUG) to assist in developing an information architecture recommendation and functional specifications for a new website navigation structure. TUG also interviewed citizens, businesses, city staff and visitors to gather requirements for the recommended functional specification. End-user tests were also conducted with these groups to ensure TUG's recommendation addressed stakeholder needs.
The goal of this work was to improve user experiences by making content more relevant and easier to find. The implementation of the functional specification is the basis for the redesign of the website. The city engaged Keystone Media to redesign the city's global navigation templates, incorporate responsive design and improve content accessibility via ADA compliant code.
Please note that although a site map has been submitted to Google to optimize search engine results, it may take several weeks for Google to complete the A2gov search update. The city is closely monitoring inquiries about search engine results and is working with Google to ensure the search engine update is completed.
The city welcomes website user feedback and wants to know what citizens think of our new website. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ann Arbor has 119,000 residents, spans 28.9 square miles and is frequently recognized as a foremost place to live, learn, work, thrive and visit.
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The city's mission is to deliver exceptional services that sustain and enhance a vibrant, safe and diverse community.