The City of Richardson’s new website has earned a 2012 MarCom Creative Award recognizing the City’s outstanding performance in the category of website design. The City launched its new website, www.cor.net, in March of this year. The upgraded site features a variety of enhancements that promote easy resident, business and visitor access to municipal services and information.
The MarCom Awards are presented as part of a prestigious, annual, international awards competition that celebrates outstanding work in the communications and marketing fields. The program considers more than 10,000 entries each year and recognizes both individuals and organizations involved in the concept, writing and design of print, visual, audio and web materials and programs.
"We are honored to receive this award in recognition of the excellent work that has been done to enhance our website," said Mayor Bob Townsend. "Richardson has always been a leader in providing online access to municipal services. We were the first city in Texas to have a website and one of the first in the nation to offer online services such as utility bill payments. Our new site continues our tradition of providing easy access to information and services, and it has a variety of new features that take advantage of the changes in mobile communications and social media."
The City of Richardson began planning the redesign to its website in early 2011 with the intention of aligning with the City Council’s Statement of Goals, which aims to improve citywide communications, transparency in government operations, marketing of community assets and encouragement of public involvement.
The City’s first website became operational in 1991. It was the first municipal website in the state of Texas, and, to the City’s knowledge, it was the third municipal website in the world. It has subsequently grown to be the primary portal citizens use to interact with city services, which is what made a redesign of the site such a high priority with the City Council.
One of the top objectives in the design process was making sure the new website was accessible to mobile users and met users’ desire to connect with city services through their mobile device. To meet that need, the City’s new website can recognize when it is being accessed by a mobile device and provides an easy-to-use menu system for smart phones.
The new website design also uses quick action buttons on the City’s homepage and on several city departments’ landing pages to allow easy access to the City’s most used services.
California based Vision Internet was contracted by the City to provide design features and to provide a new Content Management System (CMS) for the site. The company was chosen for its experience working with hundreds of municipal governments across the nation to provide website design and online services. Its CMS includes several unique interactive components that allow for expanded community interaction and website management.