Featuring a scrolling photo montage of prominent locations and events in La Mesa, the city launched its newly redesigned website on Oct. 22.
The redesign features a new color scheme, with a light-blue toned background of palm trees, with a brightly colored palm tree standing as contrast on the right hand rail.
In addition, a more dynamic category list inhabits the left rail, and is easy to navigate with a bright green color scheme and larger font than the previous site.
Assistant city manager Yvonne Garrett told Patch that the site was created by a vendor called Civic Plus, as well as city staff. She said that as they found that the site was increasingly becoming a source for residents to get city information, that some changes were necessary.
"The impetus for the recent work was to be more customer-friendly and was designed with residents, visitors and businesses in mind," said Garrett. "It also allows the city to continue to be transparent in providing information to our visitors. The redesigned site offers a cleaner, more colorful and user-friendly interface, and provides the public easier and quicker access to the most-searched-for information."
She said that throughout 2012, cityoflamesa.com has received an average of nearly 28,000 visitors each month.
There is also a change in what sections of the site are more visible and easy to navigate. The newly redesigned homepage features a new Citizen Help Center menu and graphic links to the most popular pages. In addition, the navigation was reconfigured based on user statistics collected over the past year. The most frequently searched for topics of interest include parks and other recreation facilities, classes and summer camps, and meeting agendas and minutes. The updated navigation has four specific user-centric areas including Activities, Business, Government, and Residents.
"For instance since Parks was a highly viewed area of the old website, we added a tab to access park information on the main page," said Garrett.
The site boasts a new language translator and searchable set of frequently asked questions. New buttons highlight existing online tools such as Request Tracker, used to report and track requests for service; Community Alert, used to enable city staff and law enforcement to quickly alert the public about activity or crime; and Notify Me, an email and SMS message notification service. Additionally, new social media and share buttons at the bottom of every page provide quick links to view and share information via Nixle, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and more. The site is also available in a mobile-friendly version.
Garrett said the cost of the revamp was approximately $4,500. The site will continue to be run by the City Manager's office.