The City of Sterling Heights unveiled a website “refresh” this week, offering a new home page layout to the City’s website with a more functional, condensed, aesthetically pleasing version of its former site.
The new website design and layout launched Monday afternoon with no interruption to users.
Community Relations Director Bridget Kozlowski presented the website to the City Council at the Nov. 21 meeting, walking through the decision-making process for the redesign. The process was based largely on tracking two years of analytic data to find out which pages on the site residents were seeking out most often and moving them to more front-and-center positions on the homepage, she said.
Community Relations began the website refresh process by setting goals, such as making data-driven decisions related to the layout, deleting and condensing department pages, reducing scrolling required, reducing white space and offering more clickable images to drive resident attention to important highlighted information. The City also decided to shift its focus to think “more like a resident.”
“Ultimately, thinking more like a resident meant thinking less compartmentalized in city departments, for example, our site was previously organized by categories such as City Development or Public Works, Kozlowski said. “Instead we begain to think more like a resident or a website user coming to our site to do business, as in, ‘How do I find out my trash day?’ ‘What do I click to pay my bill?’ ‘How can I find my property tax information?’”
According to Kozlowski, since the City changed over to the CivicPlus platform in 2015, the highest hit pages included: Bill Pay, Library, Parks & Recreation, Property Tax Information, Sterlingfest, 41A District Court, Apply for a Job, Trash & Recycling, Services and others. In the redesign process, the Community Relations Department took this information and worked with website designers to reprioritize the homepage layout to make these desired pages easily findable.
Kozlowski reported the website refresh came at zero additional cost to the City of Sterling Heights, as it was provided as an option in the original contract with CivicPlus in 2015.“I’m proud of the City for taking the proactive step to make our city website, a very important piece of our public information and image, a top priority,” Kozlowski said. “This is the front face of the city to residents, community members, businesses, the media and potential new residents – so it’s crucial we are functional, clean and leading the industry in our design. I think our latest website refresh was a vast improvement for us and we now have our best face forward.”
For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Community Relations Director Bridget Kozlowski at (586) 446-2471 or via e-mail at email@example.com.