Digital Service Network: ‘The City of Santa Ana’s Website Overhaul’

Posted on April 23, 2024

Santa Ana, Calif., city website screenshot

We’re proud to support Santa Ana, Calif., in its digital service journey.

The Digital Service Network published a case study on the city’s new website launch, and “how digital service innovation can occur in government organizations without formally codified or centralized digital service teams.”

From the case study:

Soto began with the anecdotal challenges he had been hearing about, documenting these complaints and following up with a broader survey of website users. Then, Soto built a demo site to demonstrate how a site could focus on accessibility, ease of use, and proper navigation, all of which were key challenges he had documented.

In 2020, Soto presented the working demo to the city manager. “Just with a very minimal, bare-bones prototype site, [the city manager was] blown away with the differences in the ease of use and navigation on the prototype site compared to the then-current site,” Soto shared. Based on the demo’s success, the city manager empowered Soto to take up the responsibilities of product owner for a website overhaul initiative—contingent upon securing approval from the IT director.

It took a year for Soto to get IT buy-in due to the department’s reservations about the scale, security, and cost of such an organizational change. But Soto worked diligently to assuage any fears, again using the demo website as a key tool of persuasion. By late 2021, Soto secured IT’s endorsement.

The launch in April 2022 marked a major cultural shift regarding the site’s management and maintenance, with employees taking greater ownership over the website’s content and design and reporting increased engagement and morale. Staff reported feeling more empowered to make timely updates to the site and build accessible, plain-language website content.

Source: The City of Santa Ana’s Website Overhaul: A Digital Service Network Spotlight

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