Your county website should be all about functionality, efficiency and user experience. Anyone who visits a local government site (or any government site for that matter) expects only the best user experience to help them with any query.
Credibility is a big factor when it comes to websites and you would want to avoid a user interface that is slow, inefficient and does not provide the public the results they were expecting.
What makes a government website different from a business website is that it serves the public sector, so the site is assumed to be created to provide the best service and the best state of the art website for your county.
More users are going online to find government sites to provide them with the service and information they need, so you need to have a strongly built website to create a positive user experience. If lately, you have been receiving feedback about having fewer visitors, then your county’s website might be due for a redesign.
Here are some telltale signs that your county needs a new website:
Your county site is not mobile-friendly
Most people visit websites via smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. So ensure that your website is optimized for mobile users. Many website developers now use a technique referred to as responsive design. Essentially, your website’s design and functionality are automatically reformatted and scaled to fit and function on mobile screen sizes. Aside from functionality, having a mobile-friendly site gives the public the assurance that your website is accessible everywhere, anytime at the tip of their fingers. Positive user experience is of utmost importance.
So what does it mean that your site it not optimized for mobile devices? Try to browse and go your county’s site and see if it comes up as a “mini” version of your site. Does it show you the desktop version with letters are so small you have to pinch and adjust the screen to see? Then that means your website was not developed for a mobile browser-and its time to change that.
No Location data awareness
Aside from being mobile-friendly, you would want to have a site that automatically detects your location. As soon as users log in, they should be asked to choose their location and show them a map of nearby government agencies that they are searching for. Location data from smartphones automatically detects user information based on their locations if users turn on the location function on their smartphones, and most likely most people today do.
The convenience your website detecting location is vital as the user needs to be guided on the right government agency they are looking for. No one wants to get misguided information online, most especially if its about government services.
No county notification services
Offering free service to text subscribers with alerts such as traffic, weather, and emergency events, as well as reminders on important events can take your county’s website to the next level. Public service using notification services are widely used nowadays by top government sites.
Combining features such as mapping and sign up options for newsletters and alerts make your county citizen’s feel that they are taken cared of by their city/county/state and have a sense of community and belonging. Add on social media links to the website and encourage engagement and social sharing, local awareness, and concern.
Your website is slow
A 3-second rule should apply to your website. It should load within that time, otherwise, your site might need troubleshooting, The problem with slow sites is that visitors leave because your site takes too long to load – thus creating a negative user experience. And this is something you want to fix right away.
A good website should load fast on ANY browser, so if it loads faster on Firefox than on Chrome, then you might want to re-think and optimize your site speed optimization settings, especially if most of your users (via Google Analytics) are using Chrome. Whether it is on mobile or desktop, website speed is essential. If troubleshooting your website does not improve anything, then it’s time for a redesign.
To determine this, PivotPath can run a website analysis and test your site speed. If it doesn’t load in three seconds, then reconsider your website’s design and interface as it may also be one of the causes why it is loading slow.
Your site design is out of date
Consumer preferences change over time. Website design is just as important as site functionality. Aesthetics are important because first impressions do last. When your citizens visit your county’s website, you would want them to feel the pride of belonging to the locale. Images and welcoming content should resonate to its citizens- making them browse further and discover.
Having a beautifully designed website, with easy navigation and responsive and fast is essential to especially to a government website. Having a poorly functioning website will make you lose your citizen’s loyalty and gratitude, as well as make a really bad impression and representation of the local government; we are here to ensure that won’t be the case.
If you have these 5 signs or symptoms on your website, then it’s time to take action. Here at PivotPath, we can help you create an extraordinary website for your county that makes a great impression, and give your website visitors the best user experience.