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We believe that quality local government website design inspires a connection between citizens and their community. We believe that the public sector is just as innovative as the private sector, and that local government websites should showcase the latest website design trends and the most forward-thinking best practices. We believe that data should inform design, and that analytics are keys to unlocking future potential.
Most importantly, we believe that the best website design means investing in the best website designers, which is why we are proud to have cultivated the very best digital creative team, and are proud of their ongoing success producing award-winning websites.
Whether you want to take advantage of one of our existing, proven-effective layout templates, or work with our design experts to create a design that is as unique and one-of-a-kind as your community, our creative designers will serve as essential members of your implementation team and will help you meet your design and functionality goals. Using data from your existing website, our experts will analyze all available information to inform the layout, navigation, and key functionality of your municipal website.
In collaboration with your project strategists, they’ll ensure your final municipal website design fits your brand, your civic engagement goals, and is informed by a data-driven approach to functionality and usability.
Click below to see examples of how our creative team captured the essence of each unique community in their online presence.
The Portland, ME website reflects a strong, contemporary design that ties historical roots to the City’s progressive attitude. The site uses strategic elements such as viewport sizing to customize the hero area for each device, creating a seamless user experience. Rounded elements are featured throughout the website to convey a sense of approachability, and to compliment the dominant sans-serif typeface.
Portland also makes great use of an effective CivicPlus design practice that we recognize as “Peaks and Valleys.” This is achieved by identifying high areas of visual impact (peaks) and then supporting them with areas of negative space and simple color combinations (valleys). This tactic helps to drive a user down a tall page without overwhelming him visually.
The homepage also uses strategically placed “fixed” elements in the navigation bar and left-side buttons to keep relevant functions available to users through the page, along with taking advantage of anchored smooth scrolling to lead a user to different homepage destinations.
Portland also did a great job of keeping the main navigation as service oriented as possible. There is very little use of organizational chart driven navigation. For example, the Services menu includes most of the main items people will use on the site. No need for the citizen to have to know which department, what the city calls it, or how to ask for it. They are all there on the first menu level.
Use of a suggestive search bar also helps those that choose not to use the menu to get directly to what they are looking for.
Bottom Line: Great thought was put into the navigation, graphic buttons, and search functionality of the Portland, ME website to make the entire experience of searching for civic information much easier.
The Cape May County, NJ website provides its users with a highly engaging experience by utilizing elements such as its highly visible search area, and its highly visual service related sections. The color palette used throughout the website helps to convey a subtle nautical theme without the colors becoming an overwhelming feature.
The hero area is set to carousel through a specified number of images to provide supportive interest to the homepage without creating its own narrative. The bold sans-serif typeface, paired with a simple script, promotes a sense of contemporary sophistication while defining areas of importance.
The homepage makes strategic use of tabbed areas to allow many widgets to be featured without adding additional height to the page, while empowering the user to choose what information they would like to view.
The navigation features cleanly categorized mega-menus to support the robust search with additional spotlighted material within. A large percentage of these menus are dedicated to online services the county offers, and they are supported by a service center lower on the page for convenient, quick reference. The service center section helps users recognize types of service items both visually and with text. This website is optimized to help get users what they want to go quickly, and in only a few clicks.
The Cody, WY website uses high-impact photography with textured elements to convey the rugged attitude of the city. The user is introduced immediately to a large search area in support of a robust navigation structure, which drives immediate user engagement. In combination with our Aurora platform’s suggestive search functionality, the citizen will be able to quickly find the answers to his questions even if he is unsure of what he’s looking for.
Along the bottom of the page, a row of fixed service buttons ensure that these popular items will be available to citizens at all times in a way that supports the rest of a page’s content. Dynamic, high contrast text and color combinations help to champion proper contrast for ADA compliance throughout the website.
Cody emphasizes a strong sectioned layout that helps with long-term site maintainability, as well as effective use of negative space in information rich areas.
Cody also features a great calendar area that includes things of interest to the individual citizen. While council meetings are important and belong front and center, sometimes the more day-to-day happenings, like a yard waste pick-up event, are more relevant to citizens. Cities often forget such items, but the Cody website is an excellent example of keeping citizen needs front and center.
Frisco, TX exudes strength and confidence in its brand, which is supported by its web presence. Strong, bold type and contrasting dark grays and browns paired with bright reds help to guide a user throughout the design while also supporting proper 4.5:1 contrast in regard to ADA requirements.
Areas of texture support the history of the city while also providing subtle interest to areas of negative space. A strategically gridded layout supports a clean responsive adaption of elements between mobile devices.
Frisco has a rather unique aspect to its main navigation, the “Communications” area. This menu item includes all the ways to keep in contact with or interact with the city and is an effective way for citizens to navigate the sometimes overwhelming government news hub.
The Hallandale Beach, FL website features an energetic and diverse color palette. When this is paired with effective white-negative space it creates an effective brand message and supports the feeling of the Florida surroundings.
Different areas of service are immediately available upon page load, both within the primary content area, as well as “fixed” to the left side of the browser window. High-impact imagery and video content is utilized throughout the homepage to provide many avenues of experience-building, and citizen engagement.
Iconography utilized throughout the site offers an outlined approach, rather than a heavier, single color option. This helps to support the contemporary styling of the website, while incorporating the bright color palette in a way that is not overwhelming to the user.
Hallandale Beach also found a creative and helpful way to allow citizens to answer the common question: “I wonder what they are doing on 4th Street.” Adding a “Projects” menu item to the main navigation gives citizens, businesses, and developers a convenient reference tool to learn about the development happening in their city.
The website for Maricopa County, AZ portrays a service-oriented design that is achieved through a combination of icon and image-based buttons that display the county’s offerings, a high-impact information based slideshow in the hero area of the website, and an initial pop-up on page load that invites citizens to sign up for notifications.
The colors utilized help convey the feeling of an Arizona sunset while providing strong contrast for the contemporary typefaces to achieve proper ADA compliance. The primary background image is implemented in such a way that it allows the sky and ground to grow and shrink independent of one another, which enhances the design to be flexible for a variety of content lengths.
The Maricopa County website is an ideal example of how to take multiple departments that service like customers and group them together in an intuitive manner. This is an effective method to assist citizens in locating services and information without knowing the servicing department. For example, if a citizen needs to obtain a birth certificate, she doesn’t have to know the name of the department or agency that offers it, rather just select it out of a list of common services.
The Maricopa County website continues this helpful grouping approach in its “Services” area with graphics that lead the user to the larger areas of interest within the website. As the user moves into one of the service areas, he is again directed quickly to choose from popular topics and services, not agencies and departments, through most of the menu. Such a citizen-focused approach to navigation ensures the website is easy for citizens to use and properly addresses their needs.
The McKinney, TX website displays a strong sense of energy and approachability. It utilizes a diverse color palette that was utilized primarily within the service offering buttons. This usage drives the user’s eye to the area of offerings while supporting the site’s overall theme.
The website emphasizes the search function by enlarging and centering it within the hero section, and supports it with a scale-to-fit hero image that utilizes high-quality/high-resolution imagery. The overall visual effectiveness of a homepage is in direct correlation to the quality of imagery, and McKinney is a great example of how much of an impact that resource can have.
The site features a mix of a condensed sans-serif typeface paired with an accent script to support the overall approachable attitude of McKinney. Simplified interior pages reduce page height to help the content to focus and ensure citizens can quickly find the answers to their questions.
The McKinney, TX website displays a unique approach to the structure of its main menu, as it includes a “I’m Looking For” item. This is an efficient way to direct citizens in a specific direction, quickly and personally.
The Panama City, FL website utilizes professional grade photography with a “Peaks and Valleys” mindset to create a cohesive user experience. It utilizes a distinct, serif typeface to provide the user with a sense of historical significance, and pairs it with high contrast headlines and icons to relate back to contemporary times.
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