Residents at the centre of City’s new website design
The City of Lethbridge is excited to launch a fresh, new Lethbridge.ca website, focused on the needs of residents. Using industry best practices and past web analytics, the City’s website content has been streamlined, navigation made more intuitive, search functions enhanced and a clean new design incorporated. These changes make the site more accessible and user-friendly.
“If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that online services are vital in today’s world and municipalities are no different than any other business,” says Mayor Blaine Hyggen. “This new website is just the launching-off point for improving our online presence and I look forward to seeing how we can grow from here.”
The new site makes it easier to submit service requests to 311, 24/7. It also highlights the recently added 311 online chat feature and provides a subscription option to receive news updates from the City, in real-time. Content has been re-written and organized to be more user-friendly and more accessible for residents who may use aids like e-readers. All of these functions make it easier to get online information in less-clicks, an important step in creating a more convenient and responsive customer experience.
“We know people are busy and online services are one way we can help meet our residents needs,” says Jason Elliott, Director of Corporate Services. “Over the last year we’ve made a very purposeful effort to developing systems and standards that will help us adapt to whatever our residents might need in the future.”
The next phase of this project will introduce a customizable citizen portal where residents can curate the content they want to see based on their address, needs and interests. The portal will include a login to tailor things like waste and recycling pick-up schedules and link to individual information like taxes, utilities and dog licenses. This new function is expected to launch later this fall.
“The refresh of the website originated from a technology need to upgrade the system we were using,” says Wes Chapman, Communications and Engagement Strategist and member of the project team. “But we also took the opportunity to evaluate how the site was working for our residents. This is our biggest communication tool and new functions were long overdue. The refreshed website is a great start but we’re excited about the next phase of development and introduce a customer portal.”
Since last summer, the City’s project team has been working alongside a vendor who specializes in the development of municipal websites to implement a new content management system. Along with a focus on user experience and accessibility, the team performed internal and public testing to create a solution that works for the residents of Lethbridge. This new technology creates greater online security, flexibility and efficiencies for city staff.
The City is also engaging residents to have a part in the new website by submitting their favourite Lethbridge photo for a chance to have their picture featured on the new site. To enter, email your photo to email@example.com.