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City of Madison Website Redesign

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City of Madison Website Redesign

Postby sjresnick » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:26 am

After months of work, the City of Madison IT Department is releasing a redesign of our City's website. Our beta can be viewed here: http://beta.cityofmadison.com/. The redesign is configured for mobile browsers, easier to maintain, and provides a 21st century facelift from the existing website.

Announced at CityCamp 2013, the final version of the website will also be available on GITHub. Developers will have access to the code and potentially be able to write modules for the website.

Any feedback on the new look and feel before it goes live?
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Re: City of Madison Website Redesign

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:43 am

Here is what one forum member wrote: viewtopic.php?f=46&t=58748
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Re: City of Madison Website Redesign

Postby rabble » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:46 am

I go to the Madison page primarily for bus schedules, property lookup, incident reports, and yard waste site hours.

Everything but the yard waste sites was easy to find. I now know I should click on "Find/Lookup" for that but it was just a guess, not intuitive.

Not sure how to fix it unless you add some variation of "Streets/Recycling" to the menu picks. Since I found it within a minute I'm not sure if that's a problem or not.

I only clicked on "find/lookup" after I'd scanned up and down the page looking for something that said "Streets" or "Recycling" or "Yard Waste" or something like that.
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Re: City of Madison Website Redesign

Postby juanton » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:58 am

Jesus, that's busy.
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Re: City of Madison Website Redesign

Postby Ned Flanders » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:20 pm

If I like my website, can I keep my website?
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Re: City of Madison Website Redesign

Postby Stebben84 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:35 pm

Agreed that it's way too busy. Way too many topics on the main screen.

Henry Vilas wrote:Here is what one forum member wrote: viewtopic.php?f=46&t=58748


Is it too busy because of this. Aren't the web platform and mobile platform different. I checked it out on my phone and it is whole hell of a lot cleaner.
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Re: City of Madison Website Redesign

Postby rabble » Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:41 pm

I don't care whether it's busy or not. I just want the four sections I usually use to be one click away from the front page so I can go in, get the info I want, and leave.

I don't care what it looks like. I would actually prefer nothing but text but nobody wants that any more so as long as the links are readily available I'm fine.
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Re: City of Madison Website Redesign

Postby fennel » Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:18 pm

rabble wrote:I don't care what it looks like. I would actually prefer nothing but text but nobody wants that any more so as long as the links are readily available I'm fine.
Any web site worth it's salt should be rigorously tested with Lynx. Text and only text.
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Re: City of Madison Website Redesign

Postby TheBookPolice » Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:16 pm

rabble wrote:Everything but the yard waste sites was easy to find. I now know I should click on "Find/Lookup" for that but it was just a guess, not intuitive.

Not sure how to fix it unless you add some variation of "Streets/Recycling" to the menu picks. Since I found it within a minute I'm not sure if that's a problem or not.

I only clicked on "find/lookup" after I'd scanned up and down the page looking for something that said "Streets" or "Recycling" or "Yard Waste" or something like that.

Yeah, alphabetizing yard waste under "Leaf & Yard Waste" in Services seems like an unnecessary distinction. If anything, the broadest term should come first.

That said, cityofmadison.com/streets still works, and still looks like the old site.
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Re: City of Madison Website Redesign

Postby green union terrace chair » Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:03 pm

fennel wrote:
rabble wrote:I don't care what it looks like. I would actually prefer nothing but text but nobody wants that any more so as long as the links are readily available I'm fine.
Any web site worth it's salt should be rigorously tested with Lynx. Text and only text.

Get the fuck outta here.
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Re: City of Madison Website Redesign

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:33 pm

If I recall correctly Google was recently (in last 12 months) discussing down ranking search results if the website was not designed to work natively on mobile browsers as well as desktop.
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Re: City of Madison Website Redesign

Postby ilikebeans » Tue Nov 26, 2013 6:33 pm

fennel wrote:
rabble wrote:I don't care what it looks like. I would actually prefer nothing but text but nobody wants that any more so as long as the links are readily available I'm fine.
Any web site worth it's salt should be rigorously tested with Lynx. Text and only text.

Image
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Re: City of Madison Website Redesign

Postby snoqueen » Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:37 pm

I've got the city home page here on a laptop and on a tablet side by side.

First thing I notice is on the laptop I see two top bars that don't initially appear on the tablet. The topmost bar is gray and has these choices: Accounts, Services, Jobs, Agencies, Data, and Contact. Some have drop down menus, some don't. (Parallelism is nice, but I can see why all these don't act the same way -- some have a whole lot more options than others.)

The second bar on the laptop is white and has the following: News & Updates; Live & Work; Health & Safety; Visit & Play; Business & Development; Get Around; City Hall; Visions and Awards. Some search targets are filed several ways: I note the Madison Public Library appears under both Live & Work and under Visit & Play, for instance. OK, makes sense. But that's a lot of options on one home page.

On the tablet those top two bars aren't present, though you can open them using the three-lines buttons at the right. People who are not web-page-literate will never see those, but they'll still be OK. That's because whatever a person really needs also appears at the bottom of both home page versions. It's a plain gray panel that's got nearly everything the whole rest of the page has, just smaller and neater. The category "Find/Look Up," for instance, is a gold mine.

I like the tablet version better because it's simpler, having all the same links as the laptop version while collapsing those two redundant top bars. Is there some reason you didn't just put that plain gray bottom panel at the top of both page views (laptop and tabler) and completely dispense with all the top bars, since they all three say the same things in three different ways? Or is the philosophy to have numerous points of access to every page, arranged different ways. on the assumption everybody will try something different so you might as well accommodate them all? (I can sort of see that.)

I managed to find everything I trial-searched for, so it all works pretty well from a functionality point of view. I guess if it was my page, I'd use the tablet version exclusively and give up the two extra top bars which I think are redundant and make the home page unnecessarily cluttered.

Then I might put that gray bottom panel up above the fold in some form.

Then I might notice the "I want to" feature appears twice on the same screen, so I'd take one iteration out.

Then I'd probably get fired for not knowing what I am doing, right?

This may all be useless, but thanks for asking. I acknowledge I'm kind of a reductionist. I got a feeling you were trying to please a number of different people with this design, and that's the reality of nearly everyone's job so what more can you do.

Are you going to change the background photo on the home page seasonally? That would be a nice touch. I love the Isthmus pages' ever-changing photo bars, for instance.

And I like that there's a search function at the top of the laptop version.

Hope I didn't hurt anybody's feelings here -- I know how much effort goes into these things and how disappointing it is to have people trash your work. I think it's a pretty good page because most everyone will eventually get where they want to go, and that's the bottom line.
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Re: City of Madison Website Redesign

Postby gozer » Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:11 pm

a+ for functionality and a for aesthetics very good

can the cops post lists of arrests for certain offences like flashing and goat molesting?
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Re: City of Madison Website Redesign

Postby eriedasch » Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:21 pm

snoqueen wrote:Hope I didn't hurt anybody's feelings here --

Feelings hurt? Sounds like they should hire you as a functional tester.
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