In January 2016, West Carrollton began working with ProudCity to transition its legacy website to a resident-centered, mobile-friendly digital experience with easy-to-use administrative tools.
West Carrollton worked closely with ProudCity to think strategically about its content, focusing on retaining only the necessary information.
“We used surveys and analytics on our legacy site to help customize our new website to resident needs,” said Mattingly. “Both the quantitative and qualitative data pointed to mobile, information architecture and payments being sore spots in need of focus and improvement.”
The city created helpful frequently asked questions using ProudCity’s ‘Answers’ feature and transitioned a fraction of the legacy pages to the new site.
The city now has specific pages for residents, businesses and visitors, news and events, and multiple departments. There is also a comprehensive contact directory, social media integration and services map.
Other benefits of the switch to ProudCity include more frequent updates, faster support times and HTTPS encryption to protect visitor privacy.
The city has also started to move its paper forms to digital via the website. Key integrations include MailChimp for its email newsletter and more availability of online payments for registration forms and permits.
“Previously, forms had to be filled out and dropped off at city hall between working hours, but we’re working to digitize all of these so that they’re accessible whenever residents need them,” said Mattingly.
West Carrollton launched its new website in 60 days, including a public beta that would allow residents to see the future website and give feedback before it became the city’s new official digital home.
“Being armed with the data we felt comfortable and confident moving through a very fast process,” said Mattingly. “A big part of that comfort level came from the live beta where we were able to show residents their future website while collecting feedback. It also provided a glimpse into what life would be like without our legacy site. Seeing the positive feedback and experience the efficiencies during the beta, we moved the live launch up two weeks.”
“We were able to get up and running quickly,” said Mattingly. “The quick onboarding process allowed us to bypass the traditional city website approach and, rather than deal with a lengthy procurement and design/development process, let us focus our limited resources on moving our operations to a more comprehensive digital city platform.”
The West Carrollton website is now powered by a fully-supported open source, open API content management system that gives the city ultimate flexibility to easily integrate third-party services without being locked into one particular vendor service.
“The front-end is very seamless, looks a lot better from the user’s perspective, and the back-end is way easier to use,” said Mattingly. “It’s also extremely helpful to see analytics and what people are looking at right in the platform dashboard.”
“Because the content management system is very easy to use, we were able to streamline from using six staff members to administer the website down to one part-time employee,” said Mattingly. “The user-friendliness on the front and backend is saving our city invaluable resources: time and money.”