City of Wichita Information Technology officials today announced they had updated wichita.gov, with a simplified design that will make it easier for users to access information to pay bills, contact officials, file complaints, request permits, obtain crime data and conduct other public business.
The software, SharePoint, replaces a system that had been used since 2001. SharePoint is a content management system with an improved search function. The new software streamlines the information flow, providing more opportunity to share data and improving efficiency, said Mike Mayta, the City’s Chief Information Officer.
The new website was funded through a federal grant that required $30,000 in matching funds. The City started researching improving the website in May. The upgrade started in September after meetings with several focus groups for feedback about the design, navigation and functionality of the new site. The focus groups included residents and business owners who work with the City of Wichita.
“We showed them the existing City site and we compared other municipal sites,” Mayta said. “Focus group participants saw some effective and award-winning sites from larger cities. It was very important to us that the new site be built from the view of site customers including residents, employees and other stakeholders.”
The new website had a soft launch on Friday and officials completed the transition over the weekend. The site continues to be developed. City staff is still updating information and City officials want additional public feedback on content and functionality. Mayta encouraged visitors to get familiar with the new site.
“It’s a completely revamped look and feel,” he said, “but we think they will soon find the site more user-friendly than the old one.”