In an age where municipal websites may be the single most important tool for citizens to find local information, the Town of Cobourg Comunications Department is pleased to announce the launch of its redesigned and improved www.cobourg.ca.
The revision process included five months of digital market research and review of hundreds of other municipal, tourism and private-sector websites for best practices, the town's press release said, as well as incorporating citizen feedback received through the Annual Corporate Communications Survey in March – 110 responses were received.
“We relied heavily on the outpouring of comments and helpful suggestions from our communications survey,” communications manager Ashley Purdy said.
“So many suggestions were immediately implemented into the new design, and I want to thank everyone who provided input.”
The redesigned site features a clean appearance, ease of navigation, improved content and functionality driven by the needs of the town's citizens.
Mayor John Henderson said the redesigned site sets a new civic standard for digital communications and engagement, and provides a platform on which the town can rapidly innovate towards its digital-strategy goals,
The town's press release highlighted some key improvements.
A new Mayor and Council web page includes contact information for mayor and council members, provides a place to request a proclamation or official greeting from the mayor, offers access to meeting agendas and minutes, sets out the mayor's calendar and gives details on how to request to speak at a council meeting.
The new Trending Services feature identifies trending services, providing direct access to content citizens are looking for. Winter months might feature road-maintenance information, for example, while summer months will bring festival news and postings of beach closures.
A new design layout for the Community News section should ensure pertinent news is not missed.
A new Council News section will offer direct access to the new Mayor and Council web page, to the CivicWeb for agendas, minutes and bylaws, and to the live broadcast of council meetings.
A free Community Events calendar is available for all community groups, clubs and organizations to submit their events free of charge.
A news ticker has been added to announce such current news as road closures and traffic detours.
Soon to come, Purdy said, will be the integration of a new Bids and Tenders platform. She is also looking forward to the integration of Bang The Table, the town's new on-line engagement platform.
The site continues to be responsive and easily readable on any type of device (including smart phones and tablets), As well, it meets provincially mandated accessibility standards, such as a screen reader ad the ability to change font size and contrast.
The town invites everyone to visit the redesigned site to stay up-to-date – and to provide continued feedback by contacting Purdy at firstname.lastname@example.org.