Long Overdue: City Website Refresh

Anyone who’s ever tried to find anything on the City of Mercer Island website will be glad to hear that the City just redesigned it.

First major feature: it doesn’t look like it’s 1999 in Mercer Island any more.

Courtesy the Wayback Machine, I got a screenshot of the familiar, old website:

Funny, Wayback says this image is from last week but it feel years old.

So, visual design: check. Major upgrade, especially the rotating photos on the header. Nice colors too, and professional look.

How about the navigation?

Simplified, with “Sitemap,” Advanced Search” and “Contact us” removed from the main navigation bar.

Some major sections also have a very nice sub-navigation element:

Actual content instead of blank pages & recycled news

Clicking into “City Council” gets a mission statement and options to click into each councilmember, instead of the same news that was on the home page.

Real site search

Unfortunately, Wayback doesn’t capture site search, but I remember it being a big source of frustration. The new site is clearly using a real search engine for custom search, Bing or Google probably.

Some things are still 1999, like the meaningless URLS (“http://www.mercergov.org/Page.asp?NavID=1951,” but that’s not a real usability issue. The footer says the site was built with Project A‘s “Site in a Box.”

Nice work!

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