Government 2.0 Club is an informal organization focused on convening the tribe of technologists and thinkers focused on applying social technologies to the governments worldwide.
Do City Websites need to be more Mobile Friendly?
December 22, 2011 at 8:02 pm #148082
The City of LA currently has a beta version of it’s new City website.
Here are my thoughts on it:
But, most importantly do you think all new City websites need to provide mobile web browser support?
I personally do, esp. as consumers are getting more mobile, and mobile devices begin to replace our laptops/computers as our primary tech hub.
But why is this so hard for local government to understand?!
December 22, 2011 at 8:22 pm #148096
Victor S. PaolaParticipant
Yes! Emphatic yes! I think local gov’t ties the idea of a mobile website to broader mobile incident reporting strategies that are not fully developed (i.e. graffiti, pot hole – click and submit). Without a solid back office process to deal, the thought of going mobile may be scary.
December 23, 2011 at 3:19 pm #148094
Yes I agree new websites should provide some sort of mobile experience for their users. Does it have to be bells and whistles no, but access to most basic services or information should be present. I know nothing about Stellant which seems to be their CMS of choice so I wont elaborate on the details of integrating a mobile site. The website does I think have a clean and fresh look and seems to include many services and information. So I wouldnt give them a failing grade for redesign maybe a C +. I do have to say that the Mayors page and the council persons websites take the cake for over the top but I guess its good to be represented online as long as you can have some form of online contact with them. Seems that most of the council peple are hosted by the city. Going social isnt easy for any local gov on a tight budget and keeping up with social media is at least a part time job. I dont believe you can blame anyone for not going there since its not a neccessity its more of a nicety. The city though could do better by tying in twitter to their traffic or news feeds.
December 23, 2011 at 4:27 pm #148092
Here at Seattle City Light, we went mobile a little over a month ago. In that first month, 11 percent of all our website traffic came from mobile devices. That’s without any kind of big storm that caused power outages.
Our customers are using their smart phones more and more. The change is happening at a rapid pace and is only accelerating. To serve them effectively and meet their expectations, we all need to make it possible for them to connect with us how they want. That means going mobile.
We started by leveraging existing website content of the most common customer interactions — pay a bill, report a streetlight outage, check on power outages, tips to save electricity and contact us. We made mobile versions and put it out there. Took three weeks to get started.
You can do this!
December 23, 2011 at 6:05 pm #148090
Absolutely a must have. Reno.gov mobile traffic is averaging 14% (always increasing). During recent major fire when 10,000 residents were evacuated, mobile traffic jumped to 22%. They were still able to access our emergency messages during a critical situation.
December 23, 2011 at 9:14 pm #148088
I actually just a new follow up post to my original thoughts. This time its more about social engagement through platforms.
Would love to hear your thoughts on this. I believe Mobile and Social go hand in hand because the more mobile a platform the easier it is for the platform to let users engage in social activities.
December 29, 2011 at 4:44 pm #148086
I agree that mobile can be a powerful catlyst for social. But I also wouldn’t knock all the govies who are legitimately trying to incorporate social and mobile into their communications mix without any increase in staff. I’ve built as much automation into our process for sharing content as I can and we rotate responsibilities for monitoring comments, but we’re not on constantly, which is becoming an expectation for many users.
On the good side, we just had our first set of significant power outages since launching our mobile platform. 64 percent of our website traffic that day came on the mobile pages from people using smart phones, iPads, even gaming devices.
January 11, 2012 at 4:58 pm #148084
Of course! We all are doing more on the go, and government should adapt to that, even as far as websites are concerned. Kristy raises a great point that it’s especially useful for communications in an emergency. On the other hand, non-mobile websites will still work on phones, so I don’t think it should be a #1 focus, there’s other things to worry focus on.
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