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The city needs your help designing its new website

Liana Dragoman presents at February's OpenAccesssPHL meetup. February 8, 2016 Category: PurposeShort
The city is in the process of making its website more accessible.

As it stands, information and resources are just as difficult for city employees to find through the existing website as it is for Philadelphians.

“Accessing and deciphering city information can feel messy,” said the Office of Innovation and Technology‘s user experience strategist Liana Dragoman at this month’s OpenAccessPHL meetup. “Opaque information is equally cumbersome to city employees taking phone calls.”

Changes to the site’s infrastructure are in the works, and the city is in the process of moving content over from the old site to the alpha site, which is a continual work in progress.

Check out the alpha site

But changes aren’t going to be made right away. It’s not that easy.

“It’s going to be inherently a long process,” Dragoman said. “There’s a massive amount of people maintaining and creating content for phila.gov, so governance is messy as well.”

Philadelphians are encouraged to head to the alpha site, tool around a bit and submit feedback on their experience. That’s a vital part of the process: Take feedback, synthesize those requests into something palpable, continue to ideate, do the actual design work, implement the changes — lather, rinse, repeat.

“User research is helping the city make sense of how to make those processes better,” Dragoman said.

Right now, Dragoman said the content is very “baseline,” though they’re working with departments to restructure the content for user-friendliness.

Oh, and one more cool thing — feedback submissions are sent directly to the city’s Slack.

Too cool.

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