A New City Website Shaped by User Input
The city is working to redesign its website by better understanding your needs - and the needs of other users - so it can better serve them.
Bouldercolorado.gov is the City of Boulder's most important tool for delivering information and services to the community. Boulder launched its new website in July 2021. The city has been working since 2017 to redesign its website based on user input, research and testing. The city launched a beta website in October 2020 to preview the new website.
Community members are encouraged to provide feedback on the new website via feedback forms that put up on every page or through the city’s online engagement platform, Be Heard Boulder.
The prior city website was designed based on the structure of city departments, which is not intuitive for most users. The new city website is designed to be:
- user-centered and service-driven;
- intuitive and easy to use;
- more efficient for staff to update;
- modern and visually engaging; and
- built on user research and iteratively improved based on user research.
The new city website will include new features, functionalities and content identified by user input. A few examples include:
- a user-centered approach to organizing information in a clear and consistent way by services, projects and news;
- the ability to filter, sort and search popular content, like services, trails and parks;
- improved alerts to ensure users don't miss timely or important updates;
- accessible content with prominent automated translations and priority content professionally translated into Spanish, the most common language spoken in Boulder after English;
- an improved calendar, including ability for users to add an event or event series to personal calendars; and
- a mobile-first, fast-loading design that works on any device.
Whether it's print, TV or digital communication, nearly all of the city's communication efforts point back to bouldercolorado.gov for more information. The City of Boulder website receives approximately 1.5 million visitors and 7 million pageviews a year on average.
The city worked with a consultant from May to October 2018 to study user experience on the current city website and to develop a plan to make the website easier for the public to navigate. The city used the research findings and recommendations to make iterative improvements to the current website and develop plans for a new website.
Research indicated that the city website can most benefit from:
- improvements to the way the city organizes and categorizes web content, so information is easier and more intuitive to find;
- improvements to city website search effectiveness and functionality; and
- improvements to content management so information is more consistent, up-to-date and user-focused.
For more information, see this 2018 update via a City Council information Packet item. The user research work helped shape the design and development of this beta website.