City of Woodbury to launch new website
The current city of Woodbury website is long overdue and in need of some upgrades to keep up with the evolving technological times.
That's why it's going to look a whole lot different starting the week of April 4 after nine months of work and about $45,000 spent on an upgraded site.
"It'll be a different navigation in terms of where (people) will find things. It's more geared toward the user rather than our internal organizational structure," said Jason Egerstrom, communications and web specialist.
Most people who visit www.ci.woodbury.mn.us are looking for information on the Bielenberg Sports Center, Central Park, Woodbury parks and trails, program registration and employment.
The new website promises to highlight recreational opportunities that are the main traffic drivers to the site. Right off the bat, site visitors will notice two different tabs at the top: one for residents, the other for businesses.
Users will be drawn to those tabs first, as opposed to the current site, where people had to know exactly what they came looking for, Egerstrom said.
"We'll have an improved local search feature as well," he added. "The current local search feature on the current site performs poorly and we wanted to upgrade that."
The city worked with Fredrickson Communications, a Minneapolis company that brought in a group of residents and a group of businesses to test the new site.
The groups gave city officials feedback on what changes they need to make for the site to become a place where information can be found.
"What we learned is just how little people read on the website," Egerstrom said. "They're really just scanning and skimming pages and looking for key words to draw their attention.
"So we've really tried to scale back the amount of text on our site because we realize that they're just not reading that anyway."
However, council agendas, meeting announcements and memos will still be posted as they are now. It's just the placement of government operations versus recreational opportunities and traffic construction information that will be tweaked for easier navigation.
Designers of the website, DesignWright Studio of St. Paul, worked to come up with a more modern look and feel of the site, Egerstrom said.
New features include videos and photos as well as a "most read" section, as seen on many news sites, that will help people find what they're looking for, he added.
Egerstrom said the city has worked on the new site as a group effort for the past nine months and is anxious to launch it next week.
"We're really excited to show it to the community," he said.