Latest tool includes videos, technology blog and mobile-friendly forms.
(New Albany, Ohio) Days after becoming a city on April 29, New Albany launched a new website on May 2 to better serve the public.
While many aspects of New Albany’s website remain similar, the updated version is better optimized for search engines. It also includes a dedicated mobile website and new tools that will bring greater functionality and accessibility to the public being served.
“We felt our site was designed well and a good visual representation of our brand,” said Scott McAfee, New Albany Public Information Officer. “But we wanted to add all of the social media platforms we’ve implemented and include other tools that can help create conversations between New Albany staff and those that we serve. We also needed to address the ease to which we update our website, especially since staff performs all the updates. I’m very happy to be able to share this new site with our residents.”
After six months of research and interviews, New Albany staff determined that a business in its own back yard was the right company to forge ahead with creating a new site. New Albany hired Buckeye Interactive in late 2010 to re-create the existing website by utilizing more user-friendly platform.
Buckeye Interactive was also charged with adding functionality that would lead to a better overall experience for end users of the site. This new functionality includes: a homepage with easy identification of videos; links to subscribe to the New Albany e-newsletter and view the latest version; a link to the “Innovate New Albany” technology and entrepreneurship blog created by the New Albany Community Development Department (also developed by Buckeye Interactive); and an expanded list of “Contact Us” and service request forms that also appear more prominently.
While producing new functionality within the site and making the site easier for staff to manage, Buckeye Interactive also created a separate website optimized for mobile devices. “Scott conveyed early on to us that because 70% of the cell phones purchased today are smart phones, he wanted to make online communications and service request forms more user-friendly on mobile devices,” said Buckeye Interactive President Brad Griffith who is also a New Albany resident. “We were able to deliver a solution that makes key sections of the website easier to browse and read, and we’ve also included online forms that people can complete and submit to New Albany staff straight from a smart phone, tablet or other mobile device.”
Buckeye Interactive not only produced the website but will also be providing two years of maintenance, which includes routine discussions with New Albany staff to keep their website on the cutting edge of functionality. “With technology changing so quickly, finding a partner who can cost effectively help New Albany staff maintain high levels of interaction with the public was very important. I think we’ve found that with Buckeye Interactive,” added McAfee.
In addition to the new features, a new website URL, www.newalbanyohio.org, will also be in use moving forward. The old www.villageofnewalbany.org URL will also continue to work for those who already have that locked into their website ”favorites”.