Phila.gov gets redesign and new features to “demystify the workings of the city”

Long criticized for sub par aesthetics, the official website of the City of Philadelphia, Phila.gov, underwent an overhaul and relaunched last month to coincide with the start of Mayor Nutter’s second term. Aside from a cleaner, more appealing look, the biggest improvements to the site are the navigation — designed to be more user centric […]

Long criticized for sub par aesthetics, the official website of the City of Philadelphia, Phila.gov, underwent an overhaul and relaunched last month to coincide with the start of Mayor Nutter’s second term.

Aside from a cleaner, more appealing look, the biggest improvements to the site are the navigation — designed to be more user centric — and the new ‘Topics’ section,  Adel Ebeid, Chief Innovation Officer for the City told Technically Philly. Ebeid said these updates are intended “to demystify the workings of the city and puts it in a form that city constituents can understand.”

While some in-house city staff worked on the site, two IT staffing firms, Philadelphia-based TechSense and New Jersey-based SmartIMS, were also contracted. The redesign took a total of nine months, said Ebeid.

“Our goal is to get better at this process over time and condense the turn-around time to roll out new sites,” Ebeid added. Largely, in its first month, the response has been positive.

Those sites next on the agenda for recasting include: License and Inspections, City Planning, Procurement and Parks and Recreation, Ebeid said. Last April, PHA launched its own redesign.

In the past year, Phila.gov also updated its business services, launching a business assistant wizard in November, which Technically Philly covered when it was released and when plans were announced last June.

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