The City-County Communications & Marketing Association 3CMA announced the 2021 winners of its national Savvy Awards competition. The Savvy Awards recognize outstanding local government achievements in communications, public-sector marketing and citizen-government relationships. The award salutes skilled and effective city, county, agency or district professionals who have creatively planned and carried out successful innovations in communications and marketing. More than 800 entries in 40 categories were received; however, due to COVID-19 impacts, the awards were delayed until 2021.
In December 2019, the City of Santa Clara redesigned its website SantaClaraCA.gov and created a new subsite for the Santa Clara City Library and two redesigned subsites for the City-owned electric utility, Silicon Valley Power. The overarching goal was a streamlined user experience for all users – especially for engaged residents and local media.
A multi-departmental City team known as the Web Users Group helped guide the website redesign project from beginning to end. Through the City’s Web CMS vendor (Granicus), usability testing was held in 2017, to obtain user input about SantaClaraCA.gov to understand what the community wanted to see in the redesign. The vendor conducted a community survey from June 29 – Sept. 12, 2017 in which feedback was received from nearly 350 stakeholders about the current website’s navigation, search functionality and areas for improvement.
With the project goals in mind, beta testing was conducted for the redesigned SantaClaraCA.gov website in October and November 2019. The purpose of beta testing was to receive user feedback about the online experience and ease of use, troubleshoot any functionality issues prior to launching the new website and collect data to assess whether project objectives had been met.
In collaboration with the website vendor, City staff made additional improvements to the beta site’s content, navigation and functionality based on user feedback, such as streamlining the megamenu and redesigning the clickable images on the menu for improved usability. Additional adjustments were made to the new search engine, Cludo, to display the best results.
Based on the positive results from the beta testing, the new SantaClaraCA.gov went live on Dec. 4, 2019. The redesigned site reflected a fresh, engaging and responsive website design and interface. It also incorporates a new, enhanced search engine that produces much better results than the former site. The new subsite for Santa Clara City Library and redesigned subsites for Silicon Valley Power and SVP’s Fiber are designed to maximize the web experience preferences of their visitors while still reflecting the overall City brand.
Thanks to extensive outreach, community involvement and department-wide collaboration, the new website met all redesign project objectives with a responsive, user-centric design that demonstrates what’s possible in the city known as “The Center of What’s Possible.”
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