City Launches Redesigned Website Offering Easier Access to Information, Services

The City of San Jose has launched a new web site that is cleaner, leaner and easier to use. But before putting the finishing touches on the new portal for San Jose residents, the city wants to hear from more users.

Take a test drive of the new site and then to let communication managers know what you think.

“We want to hear from them, what they like most about the new website and features they’d like to see,” said Lenka Wright, the city’s communications manager. “Since we began beta testing with the public, we’ve received very positive comments, as well as areas they’d like us to improve upon.”

For example, not all users like the rotating photos in the banner.

“As people use it, we’ll get more feedback,” Wright said. “Even when it goes live, we’ll continue to work on the site.”

To be sure, the beta site is easier to navigate, offering many points of entry to find information most useful to residents. A slider feature allows users to click on nine topic areas: Civic Center TV, Community Voice, Green Vision, Envision, Event Services, Citywide Activity Guide, Choose San Jose, Permits Online and Public Improvement Projects.

Several other entry points to the city’s vast trove, with city services and activities listed in five categories: Community, Business, Visitors, Government and Environment.

Other new features include:

  • Calendar: Users can customize the city’s Master Calendar so that events and activities are filtered by council district or departments.
  • Notify me: Allows user to sign up for a “News Flash” feature in any or all city departments to receive the latest news and events in email or text form.
  • Translation: Through a Google Translate program, most of the website’s text can be translated into dozens of languages. But the city also publishes a disclaimer that says it cannot and will not guarantee the accuracy of the translation.
  • Community Voice: Provides a forum for feedback on the website as well as a way to offer ideas about city challenges. Other residents can then comment or vote on the ideas.

“This is more than a redesign,” Wright said. “The city is providing a website that meds the online needs of the public 24/7.”

The content management system was designed by CivicPlus, a company that contracted with the city for five years of service at $358,713.