Iowa City Government Launches Elegant Municipal Website

Summary

The City of Iowa City recently launched a beautifully redesigned municipal government website developed using the Drupal CMS web platform.

Click here to view the new site.

New Features

New features of the website include:

  1. Responsive design.
  2. Simplified home page.
  3. Breadcrumb header navigation.
  4. Nice subcategory page layout.
  5. New domain name (website address). Address changed from Iowa-City.org to ICGov.org.
  6. New favicon.co image (the icon that appears to the left of the website address).
  7. Nice Calendar of Events page.
  8. New e-subscription portal page.
  9. SEO friendly page addresses that contain keywords rather than a page ID number.
  10. Fast page load times due to content caching and load balancing.
  11. Navigation is intuitive and fast. This is probably the result of eye tracking usage analysis, focus group studies, design best practices, and responding broad feedback. For example, the Police Department page can be found by clicking on City Government > Departments and Divisions (in right column) > Police.
  12. Multi-lingual capabilities are selected from a sticky bottom of browser window pop-up menu. Because the entire site uses actual text for all written content and no graphic buttons, it is easily translated using the Google Translate feature.

Finding Favorite Content and Pages

To get to a designation on the site, the general rule is to go to a top-level category page such as Transportation, and then look in the right column for a drop-down outline of sub-options.

Considerations

  • Because the page structure is new, some Google searches still provide a link to the old website. Google and other search engines should automatically update over the next days and weeks.
  • Old page addresses don’t forward to the new site. For example, the old Police page was at www.icgov.org/?id=1318 and if you go to that page, you’re just redirected to the main ICGov.org site with the /?id=1318 page identifier which no longer works.

Old Site Design

Below is an example of the old site design. This is how the Iowa City Police page looked prior to the recent redesign. You can browse the old site content using the Internet Archive.

20150619fr-iowa-city-police-website-old-design

New Site Design

Below is a sample of the new site design. The welcome message from the Chief of Police is further down on the page with news stories now featured at the top. In the left column are navigation links to relevant sub-pages.

20150619fr-iowa-city-government-municipal-website-police

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