As part of a multi-year project to improve the service experience for Salt Lake City residents and businesses, Salt Lake City formally launched a new and improved city website.
The new SLC.gov replaces the City’s old website previously found at slcgov.com. The new site was soft launched three weeks ago. The City’s website is visited by thousands of residents and businesses each day and allows users to access core municipal functions, including bill pay, business licensing, and service requests.
The redesign project began more than a year ago and was led by the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office, the City’s Information Management Services (IMS) Department, and Utah Interactive, a Salt Lake City based online services company which focuses on eGovernment initiatives, including building and maintaining Utah.gov.
“As a government agency, Salt Lake City’s primary responsibility is to ensure businesses and residents can access the information and services they need to live, work, and play in Utah’s Capital City,” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski on the announcement. “For many people, the City’s web presence is the primary way they will interact with city government, so we wanted to create a space which was accessible to all, service oriented, and of course, easy to use.”
With nearly half of users accessing the City’s site via a mobile device, the redesign team focused efforts on building a mobile friendly site as well as improving accessibility. The new site was tested for ADA compliance utilizing independent accessibility audit tools including WebAim and Functional Accessibility Evaluator 2.0. In April, the site scored nearly 100% when tested using Google’s Accessibility Auditor.
Additional improvements include a cleaner look, and a prioritization of service-oriented functions like bill pay, service request, employment opportunities, and permit and licensing information.
“We didn’t want to simply move all the information from one site to another, we wanted to simplify and improve the content we presented to residents,” said David Bier, Communications and Content Manager who helped lead the project for the Mayor’s Office. “Every City department and agency redesigned their sites to ensure what we called ‘service tasks’ were most prominently displayed.”
The City’s last major web redesign was completed in 2011. Since that time, many City departments and agencies, including the City Council and Mayor’s Office, created their own external sites in order to provide a better online experience for users.
“What is great about this new site is that nearly every department has created a presence on SLC.gov,” said Randi Park, Technology Solutions Manager for IMS, who led the overall redesign project. “This improves our search capability and allows for greater data and content integrity.”
The new SLC.gov is only one part of a greater effort by the City to improve the service function of City government. Earlier this month the City announced that permit waiting times had been cut in half between fiscal year 2015 and 2017, through a modification of software to allow permits from six different departments to be processed concurrently, and two additional staff to review plans. In early 2017, the City also launched an online parking and civil citation hearing portal to allow individuals who have received citations to appeal online. Since that time, nearly 60% of all hearings are done online, with 90% of individuals able to resolve situations in one day.
“We are not nearly done with this work to improve our systems,” said Greg Daly, Director of the City’s IMS Department. “We are currently working with many city departments to streamline technology, including our constituent relationship management system so residents’ requests can be resolved faster.”