City of Oxford Launches New Website

Friday, August 30, 2013

The City of Oxford launched a brand new website on Friday, August 30, 2013. The previous City of Oxford website was developed in 2001 and served the Oxford community well. However, a 2011 survey confirmed that the site was outdated, and provided City staff with many ideas and suggestions.

The new site was developed in-house, and features a brand new design and is mobile and tablet friendly. Innovative features include a robust calendar with integrated agendas and minutes, and very simple navigation.

This article will explain the rationale for the website changes and help familiarize the community with the new site.

Previous Website

2011 Survey

An online survey was available from June 20, 2011 until approximately August 15, 2011. The survey revealed an array of complimentary statements, as well as areas for improvement.

Recurring Themes

  • Large volume of data and information
  • Problems with search and search results
  • Messy “Quick Links”
  • Uneven navigation results
  • Agendas and minutes access

Suggestions

  • Better search functionality
  • Bring content to the front
  • Create header links for residents, businesses and visitors
  • Streamline navigation
  • Condense and reword department pages
  • Consolidate boards and commissions pages and files
  • Reorganize entire site
  • Restrict design so that pages are more consistent

User Behavior

The City of Oxford uses Google Analytics to track website user behavior, which includes visits, clicks, flow, time on site, and devices. It does not collect personally identifiable data.

Google Analytics does not track external clicks, which are non-City websites linked from the City of Oxford webpages.

Popular Departments

  1. Parks and Recreation
  2. Police and Parking
  3. Community Development
  4. Finance
  5. Fire

Mobile

Mobile usage on the City of Oxford website dramatically increased from March 13, 2010 through March 13, 2013. The percentage of mobile visits is a mobile visit divided by the total number of visits from all devices.

  • March 13, 2010 – March 12, 2011 – average 3.6%
  • March 13, 2011 – March 12, 2012 – average 8.7%
  • March 13, 2012 – March 12, 2013 – average 13.5%

Dramatic highs in mobile usage percentage coincide with the City of Oxford 4th of July Fireworks and Trick-or-Treat Nights.

New Site

Design and Layout

The new website features a design theme influenced by the City of Oxford logo, red bricks, and Miami University. The color of the text and hyperlinks draw on black and turquoise in the City logo. The page background features alternating bricks, while the text background is white. We matched fonts from the new Miami University website.

The top of each page features the City of Oxford logo, which always links back to the home page. In addition, three links appear in the upper right-hand corner, which link to pages specifically created for students and residents, visitors, and business audiences. These pages should help guide website visitors to areas of the website that pertain to their needs.

Navigation

On the new site, the navigation menu moves to the left-hand column. Visitors may click directly on City Council, a department, calendar, or other areas. The navigation menu may change if there are deeper options.

Homepage

Welcome Message

The new homepage welcomes visitors to the City of Oxford, Ohio. “Welcome” is translated into ten languages, representing the top three languages of North America and top languages of Miami University international students. In addition, we included the Myaamia language, spoken by the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma.

  • Spanish
  • French
  • Simplified Chinese
  • Hindi
  • Korean
  • Japanese
  • Nepali
  • Vietnamese
  • Portuguese
  • Myaamia

Slideshow and “Hot Topics”

Below the welcome message, a slideshow of linked images fades in and out. The slideshow will change throughout the year to showcase popular topics and upcoming events.

Upcoming Meetings and Events

The homepage features six upcoming meetings and events, with a link to the full calendar. Corresponding documents, meeting agendas and minutes are fully integrated with the calendar entries–gone are the days of having to check various pages to gather documents. The calendar entries also include deadlines, if applicable.

News and RFPs, RFQs and Bids

Links to news articles and current RFPs, RFQs and bids appear below the upcoming meetings and events list.

Open job opportunities appear in the left-hand column at the bottom. Clicking on a job opportunity will reveal the description and application. The City of Oxford will offer online job applications in the coming months.

Calendar

The new website features a robust new calendar. We now have the ability to integrate supporting documents, agendas, and minutes with the individual meeting or event. In addition, City Council, Planning Commission and BZA meetings will have links to Oxford on Demand videos.

Calendar feeds on the respective pages for City Council, Boards and Commissions, and Departments allow website visitors to easily find dates, times and locations of meetings and events. In addition, the calendars will always show previous calendar entries as well, acting as an archive for information.

Search

Search is vastly improved with the new site. Visitors can search for topics or names and easily find relevant information. We enabled advanced search functionality, which allows visitors to limit search terms to specific types of content, such as pages, meetings and events (calendar), or news.