Keep Your Website Fresh

The Livingston Township website, designed by associate Ellen Lazer, was just ranked as one of the top 25 best municipal websites in New Jersey by the Monmouth University Polling Institute. The Institute determined it was among the easiest to use among the 540 evaluated in the state. The project evaluated each website based on 86 content items in 2012, including information for citizens, interaction, social networking and more.

What do you need to consider when designing your website? Ellen offers these five tips to keep your website rewarding to use.

  • Keep content fresh and relevant to your readers. For a municipality, that means contact information, meeting agendas, event dates, deadlines and new permit procedures must be up to date.
  • Web users spend 80% of their time looking at information that is “above the fold,” the part of the page that’s visible when users first land there. “Activities of daily life” in town, such as transportation schedules, garbage pickup and recycling, should be easily available.
  • Make it easy for readers to search your site with a search box.
  • Readers should see the most important content first. Headings should lead the reader to what he or she needs to know. Bullets and judicious use of white space help people to skim.
  • Write clearly and concisely. Use plain, reader-focused language to help your audience find what they need, understand what they find and act on that understanding. They will thank you by coming back.