Merging Several Sites Into One Cohesive Digital Experience
To coincide with a new brand and vision, the City of Arlington, TX, needed to streamline its online presence.
The City of Arlington, TX, is home to Fortune 500 companies, a bustling university, lush parks and trails, and the Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys pro sports teams. But its digital presence had not kept pace with its evolution as a regional powerhouse. With multiple, disjointed department-level websites and no clear online messaging, the city engaged Imaginuity to create a cohesive digital presence.
Previously every major city department including water, fire, housing, and police wanted to retain ownership and management of its own site, so residents and businesses had the hassle of visiting multiple sites to manage their business with the city. Not only was this cumbersome and frustrating for the city’s constituent audiences, it was wasteful of city funds to have to manage and maintain multiple sites. From a search engine optimization (SEO) perspective, having multiple sites was extremely ineffective and confusing for people searching online. Clearly the city needed to consolidate into one cohesive site, without compromising functionality or user access.
The Imaginuity strategic planning team held stakeholder meetings with the leaders of every city department – from housing, libraries and environmental health to fire, parks and recreation, and stormwater management – to ensure each department’s unique identity and user benefits were synthesized into the new citywide site.
With consensus achieved our strategic, creative, and technology teams delivered a unified theme and customized framework for one master site, with easy-to-skin background options for department-level administrators to manage on the backend. Today, the site offers each department its own section with corresponding themed elements. Additionally, the color scheme highlighted throughout the site unifies the numerous departments. Residents and businesses can now manage utilities, submit payments, search for information – and find one unified site in search.
Our strategy team met with city leaders to devise the best plan for giving residents and businesses a way to find information, manage tasks, pay bills online and gather public information all on one site. The new site would need to allow each department to showcase its identity, while providing a cohesive look and feel and optimal functionality. Our team met with all stakeholders and developed a unified framework, while allowing each department’s administrator the ability to adjust and skin the background of the departmental section effortlessly, to reflect the department’s theme.
Creative participated in the upfront stakeholder meetings, to learn each department’s role, theme and unique needs. We assured each department that its unique presence and benefits would be a part of the new comprehensive site. Adjustments to background imagery, styling of call-to-action buttons, social media tabs, and color schemes can be managed effortlessly by each department administrator.
Consolidating the city’s various departmental sites into one site was a massive challenge. Our tech team worked diligently to ensure that key functionality of each site was retained, while building one new framework that pulls in all maps, catalogs and databases from each individual site, and presents it seamlessly to users in the city-wide site.