January 5, 2023

Why Does Website Design Matter

A municipal website is no longer just a nice to have, it's vital for municipalities to claim a space digitally in which they showcase the community, resources and amenities that's available as well as share information with residents. But, should a municipal website be boring? We beg to differ!

Should government websites only be functional, plain and content-driven? 

Hells no! Government website design should be as well-designed, intuitive and easy to navigate as any other website out there. After all, they represent the municipality itself. Municipal websites serve a unique purpose ––they provide critical information on municipal services and laws that affect the local population together with ongoing updates on projects and events in the community. Having a seamless experience for citizens allows them to find what they need quickly and effortlessly.

In this blog, we'll delve into what a municipality, big or small, gains from having a great government website design. But, first let’s recap the reasons for having a municipal website. 

Three Reasons Why A Municipal Website Is Essential

  1. Your municipal website is your brand, online.  Government website design, more than ever before, should focus on creating an experience that is aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly to illustrate the values of your municipality. A website’s look and feel can indicate transparency, trustworthiness and reliability –– all qualities that people look for when considering their town as a home or as the start of a business venture.
  2. An interesting, well-designed website helps 'sell' it to visitors.  An effective website design is one that captures the essence of your municipality and communicates in a way that speaks to citizens. It should be visually appealing, modern and easy to navigate, with reliable content relevant to residents’ needs. It should also highlight administrative details, show important contact information, upcoming events and any new services or projects that are in the works.
  3. Your website is the opportunity to make a first impression.  Your local government website design should strive to create an online experience that reflects the best of your municipality’s values, history and commitment to its residents. Town websites are increasingly becoming a tool for citizen engagement and community outreach.  With the right website design, your town website can be used to foster pride in the community while inviting civic participation from citizens.

What Does This Mean For Visitors?

  1. Accessibility and usability are at the heart of a successful website design. Government website design should be designed in an intuitive, mobile-friendly way to make it easy for users to find the information they need.  This means making sure that fonts and colors are easy to read, navigation is straightforward and logical, and content is clearly laid out with effective use of call-to-actions to allow for quick response.
  2. Mobile-friendly websites attract more visitors and travelers, as people are increasingly using their phones to search for information on the go. Municipal websites that are optimized for a variety of mobile devices provide a better user experience and increase the chances of visitors returning in the future. The bottom line is that investing in excellent and comprehensive website design pays dividends –– both now and in the long run.
  3. First-hand information on the municipality's services and amenities should be readily available on the website. Government website design should offer visitors an easy way to find all the information they need, from local attractions and events to contact info, maps and more. Having a well-designed website is essential for municipal success in today’s digital environment.
  4. Connecting visitors to the municipal social media pages is also a great way to reach a larger audience and keep them engaged in the Town’s activities.  Municipal websites can include easy-to-find social media links so visitors can connect with your Town on their platform of choice. However, if your municipality does not have social media channels - fear not: ultimately the aim is for the website to offer connection points to the right people and channels in the community, whatever that may look like for your town or village.
  5. In-depth administrative information for prospective investors and business owners is vital and should be easy to access on the website. This can include details such as town taxes, zoning requirements or any other information that may help someone decide whether your community is the right place for them to start their business. The goal of a municipal website should always be to create an engaging experience for visitors.

Having an intuitive and accessible government website design is essential for municipalities seeking to increase their visibility and foster engagement in their local communities. Municipal websites should be designed with accessibility and usability at the forefront, while also providing key information that visitors need quickly and easily. Furthermore, websites should be updated regularly with clear communication.

Town Web design offers all of this (and more) to help make your 'Clerk-work' easier: as a communications platform, we not only design and host the municipal website but we offer ways for you to communicate alerts, updates and events to the community at the touch of a button. We even offer integration with a payment solution!

If this article helped you and you’d like more information, pop us an email at support@townweb.com or visit our blogs for other municipal-relevant topics that we unpack. 

Town Web services are approved for use with ARPA funds!