City plans website overhaul

December 6, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

The difficult-to-navigate municipal website — a portal to City Council documents, event schedules and emergency preparedness information — is about to receive a makeover.

The council plans to spend up to $125,000 to overhaul the outdated website early next year. The action follows a council discussion last year to remake the website, Funding for the overhaul comes from the Cable TV Fund — dollars from the franchise agreements between the city and cable providers.

Autumn Monahan, city communications coordinator and the point person on the redesign, collected input from department chiefs, council members, Mayor Ava Frisinger and website managers in other cities to prepare a plan for overhauling the website.

The template for the existing website stretches back a decade. The last significant change came in 2005.

“As we all know, navigation can be pretty difficult with the current site,” Monahan said. “A lot of that has to do with the fact that each department maintains its own pages, and we all have different ideas of how we should present information on our sites.”

The top choice to lead the overhaul is CivicPlus, a Kansas-based company behind more than 900 local government websites nationwide.

The goal is to create website rich in color, images and videos to better serve residents and city employees, Monahan said in a Nov. 29 presentation to the Committee-of-the-Whole Council.

CivicPlus promised a custom design for Issaquah, and perhaps a mobile app or a citizen request tracker.

The overhaul also includes a parallel effort to update the seldom-used intranet for city employees.

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