City’s Web site smooths way

first_img Now, the left-hand side of the main page lists the most frequently searched topics on the previous Web site: jobs and employment, licenses and permits, maps and zoning, public safety, housing, and online services including paying Glendale Water and Power bills online, free bulky-item pickup and browsing the library catalog. City Clerk Ardashes Kassakhian said he’s already noticed a drop in the number of calls to his office. “We are the first stop for a lot of people to get information, and if they can’t find it on the Web site, we would get a lot of calls,” he said. “Having this information out there helps us out because we can refer people to the site, and if they are Internet users, it’s easy for them to access information right away.” Making information available easily online is becoming more and more critical for cities, as the younger population increasingly uses the Internet as its primary means of finding information, said Democratic political consultant Fred Register. “If you’re not up there with a good Web site, I think a big chunk of the residents of the city are going to be almost shut out of participation and useful information,” said Register, whose firm is in Altadena. “I think it’s something that every city is going to be forced to do if they haven’t already followed Glendale’s example. It’s just going to be the way that people get their information.” Longtime Glendale resident Brian Ellis, who remembers the city’s foray into the Web in the 1990s, said the new site makes it easy for everybody to become a part of their local government. “Glendale has always been very forward-looking with the Internet, and I think anything that makes the information easier to find or utilize is only in the community’s interest and gets the community involved,” he said. Naush Boghossian, (818) 713-3722 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson The city unveiled its new Web site in October, with a Google search engine and a continually updated front page. The day’s current events, from the community calendar to press releases from all of the city’s departments, are also featured. Feedback from surveys showed that users couldn’t get all the information they were looking for because it was buried layers deep, Abadi said. The old Web site required users to bring up links for various city departments to get more information on a particular subject. The face-lift has already paid off. Pre-makeover, the 5-year-old site averaged fewer than 500,000 hits a month, Abadi said. After the new site was unveiled in October, it had 807,344 unique hits, which dropped to 705,759 in November, he said. GLENDALE – Next time you want to get rid of that big old couch or lumpy mattress, you won’t have to be an expert on local government to schedule a pickup time on the city’s Web site. With the city’s new user-friendly site, residents can simply click on “Bulky-item pick-up” without having to first navigate through the “Integrated Waste” page. “We’ve always had the information on the Web site, but the previous approach was very much you had to understand government to be able to navigate our site,’ said Behrang Abadi, applications analyst for the city of Glendale. “You don’t want your waste integrated, you want your trash picked up. We tried to make the terminology more user-friendly so Joe Public could navigate the Web site without any prior knowledge of how government worked.” last_img

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