An item accepted for information during a regular meeting April 19 showed Airdrie City council administration’s plans for an upgraded website for the municipality.
“The objectives are to enhance the customer service experience, create engaging and up-to-date content, modernize technology and plan for the unknown,” said Erin Busby, project manager with the City of Airdrie.
According to Busby, the new website would take anywhere from 12 to 24 months to complete with an estimated budget of between $65,000 and $155,000. She added the project will include about 8,000 staff hours, based on estimates from the City's last website redevelopment project, about 10 years ago.
“There has been substantial growth and functionality for the website since the project, as well as a significant change to technology," she said. "Both factors could impact estimates.”
City communications advisor Megan Stewart told council the revamped site would take a “top task” approach, which will manage and improve what matters most to customers.
“It will help us identify what needs to be improved and made more efficient,” she said. “It’s a methodology we know works.”
Stewart said a pop-up survey was completed last fall to gather public feedback about what matters most to residents who use the City’s website. More than 4,500 responses were received during the four weeks the survey was available.
“It shows residents and businesses are passionate about our website,” she said.
Stewart said another survey will be conducted this spring to help City staff identify the key topics and tasks visitors are looking for on the municipality’s website. The community will be engaged over a three-week period to complete the survey, voting on the most important things they want to do when visiting airdrie.ca
Additionally, the community will be engaged during the early summer to help define the new navigation system for the website, according to Stewart. The navigation will be determined through an exercise where respondents help sort tasks and topics into categories.
Community members will also be asked multiple times throughout the summer to help with testing the naming and grouping categories of the navigation.
Coun Candice Kolson, who has been a vocal critic of the City’s current website, said she is excited for the new project to be completed.
“I think you ladies did a great job explaining how this process will move forward, I am looking forward to it,” she said. “I am going to trust the process.”