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City to launch new website Monday

Lima News - 11/15/2018

Nov. 15--LIMA -- The new City of Lima website developed to account for mobile users, improve user experience and comply with the American with Disabilities Act is scheduled to go live Monday.

Created through a cross-departmental effort led by Gary Wurst with the city's data services group and Chief of Staff Sharetta Smith, the new website used community input collected through an online survey to create what Mayor David Berger called a "clean, citizen-centric design."

Compared to the city's current link-filled website, the end result is easier to read and navigate for both desktop and mobile users.

Berger said the city's current website sees roughly 30,000 visitors on average each month with the majority heading to the utilities section to pay a water bill or the court section to navigate court records. Those pages have been highlighted on the homepage along with links to the city's social media pages.

The city also added a "notify me" feature to the city website so Lima residents can sign up to receive notifications -- such as city alerts, press releases, events, meeting notifications and electronic newsletters -- sent out via email.

One of the goals of the city's website redesign was to create a better user experience for those on mobile devices. According to the city, almost half of all website users, 45 percent, access the city's website from a smartphone or tablet.

Earlier this year, the City of Lima held a photo contest in order to populate the new website with eye-catching imagery. The grand prize winner, who provided the image for the city's homepage, was John Wehner for his photo of Faurot Park.

"While we could have hired a photographer, we recognized that one of the driving factors behind getting an upgrade was that we wanted to better connect with citizens. We also recognized that our government is a people's government and that people feel most connected when they are included," Smith said at the time.

"The website committee worked diligently with CivicPlus to create a design based on analytics and customer needs. For more than six months, these employees worked on the design, content migration, functionality and employee training, all while performing their other day-to-day responsibilities," Berger said in a press release.

Other members of the city's redesign team include Courtney Parent, Jim Morrisey, Autumn Swanson and Dana Addis.

"We're looking forward to the public getting their hands on it," Smith said. "Check it out Nov. 19 and let us know of any improvements that could be made."

Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.

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(c)2018 The Lima News (Lima, Ohio)

Visit The Lima News (Lima, Ohio) at www.limaohio.com

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