Westport launches new ‘citizen-centric’ website
WESTPORT — Residents will notice a dramatic change when they visit the town website.
On Tuesday, the town launched its new “citizen-centric” website, which Operations Director Sara Harris said aims to be more mobile and user-friendly.
“The idea is you should be able to do a transaction while you’re on the go,” she said. “You shouldn’t have to sit down at a desktop computer to find out what’s going on around town hall.”
The town’s previous website had been in use since 2011. Since then, there have been major changes in technology, including a tremendous increase in mobile device usage, Harris said. The new site offers icons, app-like features and a streamlined menu of options to make searching for information simple and quick, she added.
“We also used Google Analytics for the quick information session,” she said. “This was a reflection of what people used to use our site most for.”
Residents can find answers to some of the most frequent questions under the tab “How Do I ...” now.
To assist in putting this project together, the First Selectman assembled a Website Redevelopment Steering Committee which provided guidance and oversight for the vendor selection, website implementation and rollout.
The town worked with Granicus, a New-Jersey based company that specializes in municipal websites, to improve the design. A new logo was chosen as well.
“It’s a way of branding yourself, making visual imagery for your town and making something people can connect with in addition to our seal,” Harris said of the new logo.
The redesigned website focuses more on imagery, with a slideshow on the homepage showing prospective inhabitants and residents views around Westport, and a Town Highlights section providing current news.
“It’s a place for us to say all the great things about Westport that we couldn’t do on the old site,” Harris said.
“A lot of people live in town and don’t even realize what their park pass gives them access to,” she said. “This just makes the information readily accessible to residents.”
Another highlight of the site is a new page dedicated to Westport’s economic opportunities; the page offers resources for business owners and organizations.
“This is getting to a place where we can offer more services online,” Harris said. “This had a lot of coordination between staff and volunteers in town. It’s a really good accomplishment for this group.”