Website improves as itís being built

Article image - Website improves as itís being built The new Lake Macquarie City website is released and improving as itís being built.

When charged with involving the community in the creation of a new website, Lake Macquarie City Council’s web project team tackled it by releasing a beta (partial) version and inviting users to provide live feedback.

Director Organisational Services, Laura Kendall, said the project would give the city website a fresh face, but it’s more about improving the way customers access council services.

“Conducting business with Council should be easy. We understand it’s not always possible to find time during business hours to call or visit our Customer Service Centre, and with so many council services it can sometimes be difficult for customers to find what they’re looking for online, quickly.

“Our new website will be easier to navigate because it will be more transactional and service-oriented.  

“The beta site is a place where customers can try out Council’s new approach to online services and provide feedback as the website is built around those responses.

“We have a dedicated email address to capture this feedback and the project team responds to suggestions and implements them on the site, quickly.

“The existing website is still available for customers to use as the beta site is built progressively.  

“We’ve looked at the services most frequently accessed by our customers and put these front and centre on the beta website. This means services like rates payments, reporting an issue to Council, or finding the date of the next bulk waste collection, are now easily accessible from the homepage, saving our customers time.”

The beta site is a work in progress with more services and content added all the time, so customers are encouraged to visit and complete the feedback form.

Kendall said Council is also integrating a new content management system, OpenCities.

“Unlike custom-built solutions that require expensive development to keep current, OpenCities continually evolves to ensure we always provide an innovative digital experience for our customers.

 “OpenCities features Australia’s largest local government user community, which means we are in good company.”