Your municipal website is key to helping your community make a positive first impression and ensure a continually positive experience for engaged citizens. It’s the first place that visitors and tourists will go to learn what events and activities are not to be missed. It’s the first place prospective new citizens will go when considering their relocation options. It’s also the first place business leaders will go when considering expansion opportunities in new markets. For these, and so many other reasons, your local government website needs to visually depict everything that makes your community unique, inspiring, and inviting.
When it comes to an engaging and effective online experience for website users, it’s all about design. Read our list below of 5 key reasons why implementing a website that reflects high quality design is key to your municipal success.
Civic Tip: Click here for a free, third-party website performance evaluation to see how your website performs in areas such as mobile responsiveness, readability, and speed.
Reason # 1: Your Community is Unique. Shouldn’t Your Municipal Website be Unique Too?
Citizens and potential visitors should take one look at your municipal website and instantly get a feel for your community’s unique vibe. Whether rural or urban, situated on the sea, or home to cattle country, a website designed with beautiful, original, home page photography should serve as a digital representation for your unique community.
Reason # 2: A well-designed website provides a better user experience.
Your website should function as a tool to stimulate two-way dialogue with you citizens and provide them with opportunities to self-service many of their administrative needs. Websites designed with key user features prominently displayed on the home page are best-suited to enable streamlined citizen administrative processes.
In addition, municipal websites that are designed with intuitive navigation, and built-in self-service functionality will result in a positive citizen user experience, and encourage positive feelings among citizens toward your administration.
Reason # 3: Well-Designed Websites Optimize Readability
Your municipal website should serve as a tool for communicating key news, information, and alerts to citizens. From event updates, to legislative news, to breaking news, and emergency alerts, it is crucial that your website be easy for citizens to comfortably read.
Most people are comfortable reading a web page the way they read a book—from left to right and from the top down. Today’s expert and experienced website designers are building content to enhance readability—placing the most important information, such as navigation menus, in the top left, and the most important content at the top of the page, so that your website is perceived as a convenient, and reliable source of information.
Reason # 4 Mobile Accessibility
Your citizens are living in a mobile-first society. The vast majority are tethered to mobile devices, and expect to be able to access information from any reputable website—especially that of their local government—anytime, anywhere.
A key component of government web design is mobile optimization. If your current local government website is not mobile optimized, it’s falling short of being able to deliver on citizen expectations.
Reason # 5 Accessibility and Compliance
Local governments have a responsibility to ensure their websites are accessible to all citizens. To ensure such equitable access, local governments are required to comply with website accessibility standards as outlined by The Americans with Disability Act (ADA).
A significant component of your government website design strategy must address compliance requirements. Failing to comply could put disabled citizens in your community at a disadvantage, and put your administration at risk of financial penalties.
If you’re ready to take your current local government website to the next level with a customized, beautiful, and highly functional website design, click here to learn more about CivicEngage® from CivicPlus®.