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News Release: City of San José Launches Re-Imagined Website

New City website is more accessible than ever with an ADA compliance score 19% higher than the government industry standard

Post Date:02/10/2020 10:49 AM

For Immediate Release

Rosario Neaves, Director of Communications
408-535-8170; rosario.neaves@sanjoseca.gov

San José, Calif. – The City of San José recently launched a re-imagined City website, a new ‘digital front door’ designed to make it easier for residents, businesses, and visitors to access services, find information, and engage with San José city government. Now live at www.SanJoseCA.gov, the new service-focused website reflects how residents conduct business online; promotes governmental transparency and public access to information; improves the ability of residents to actively engage; and improves the efficiency and effectiveness of City staff for maintaining current and accurate information. 

“As the Capital of Silicon Valley, the City has an unusually high bar when it comes to digital communications and meeting residents where they are,” said San José City Manager Dave Sykes. “With this launch, we’re delivering a powerful tool that can increase resident participation and keep our community engaged and informed, while simultaneously advancing the San José Smart Cities Vision of developing smart, sustainable, and reliable infrastructure to shape America’s next great city.”

“I'm always looking for the most effective communication channels to reach residents, businesses and visitors, and our new digital front door is no exception,” said Rosario Neaves, Director of Communications. “The website is the City’s flagship communications channel and it serviced over 4.4 million visitors in 2019 alone. It is integral to successful service delivery. This new website represents an acknowledgement of Silicon Valley’s high-standards and the City’s commitment to matching them while enhancing service delivery to our residents.”

The City of San José website was developed in collaboration with the govAccess unit of Granicus, provider of the industry’s leading cloud-based solutions for communications, content management, meeting and agenda management, and digital services to over 4,000 public sector organizations. Representing a citywide collaboration, the website development project employed four primary design principles in its approach:

  • Responsive Design
  • Customer-Centric Approach
  • Accessibility
  • Marketing

Responsive Design: The Present and Future is Mobile

  • An approach prioritizing building a browsing experience optimized across all devices and screen sizes/orientations, Responsive Design is commonly associated with mobile-friendly websites.
  • An analysis of City website visitation data indicated annual mobile growth was increasing by an average of more than 10% every year since 2016.
    • This is further demonstrated by mobile operating system growth constituting over 35% of total traffic in 2019.
  • This significant increase in mobile device usage and traffic was a driving factor behind the City’s implementation of Responsive Design in the new website.
    • Enables residents to have a consistent, quality user experience across a wide variety of devices such as smartphones, desktops, and tablets.
  • The City’s fully responsive new website enhances overall accessibility and enables our digital properties to capitalize on growing consumer trends and behaviors.

Customer-Centric Approach: Making Services Easy to Find and Use

  • The goal was to establish a citywide usability standard comprised of eight points conducive to a seamless and intuitive user experience.
    • Assessed analytics on the 10 most common user journeys to inform design approach.
    • Developed in collaboration with employees and residents.
  • Website now features Top Requested City Services (Browse City Jobs; Call Junk Pickup; Apply for a Building Permit; Report Issues; Find Affordable Housing; and Make a Payment) prominently displayed for easy accessibility from the homepage.
  • Address Lookup/Service Finder tool lets residents quickly access a directory of City-services based on their inputted search term.
    • Users can type in their address to view relevant information about City services, such as recycling and garbage collection.
    • The tool harnesses the power of City GIS-mapping technology and features a way to search for services by type.
    • 30 total services available at launch for quick access

Accessibility: Designing an Inclusive User Experience

  • The new website’s Content Management System has integrated features enabling City staff to implement web accessibility best practices and monitor performance to ensure ADA compliance.
    • New website’s ADA compliance score is 19% higher than the government industry benchmark.
  • Google Translate is available on all pages and lets users translate page content into other languages including Spanish and Vietnamese.
    • 30 of the Top Requested Pages will be translated into Spanish and Vietnamese.
  • The City is continuing to explore how to make the site even more accessible for users who speak a primary language other than English.

Marketing: Amplifying Awareness of City Programs, Initiatives, and News

  • The News & Stories section features a versatile presentation of news releases and department information updates.
    • The Press Room was designed with journalists in mind, and features contact information for City subject-matter experts organized by topic, department or Council office.
    • A dedicated blog aggregates content about City services, programs, and highlights for readers.
    • Digital publishing options enable City staff to enhance online storytelling and monitor key metrics to assess content performance and inform best practices.

The most effective municipal websites are developed with a mindset of continuous improvement that incorporates not only website performance data, but also ongoing feedback from users. The public is invited to explore the new website at www.SanJoseCA.gov. Those who wish to submit a comment or question regarding the new website can click on the Contact Us options at the bottom of any web page.

Watch an overview of the City's approach to the website project.

About the City of San José

With more than one million residents, San José is one of the most diverse large cities in the United States and is Northern California’s largest city and the 10th largest city in the nation. San José’s transformation into a global innovation center has resulted in one of the largest concentrations of technology companies and expertise in the world. In 2011, the City adopted Envision San José 2040, a long-term growth plan that sets forth a vision and a comprehensive road map to guide the City’s anticipated growth through the year 2040.

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