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Posted on: May 10, 2019

Town’s ‘virtual front door’ gets redesigned

A white and blue website for the Town of South Hadley

New town hall website design now live

SOUTH HADLEY - Town hall has launched a redesigned website.

The new look offers a more modern and simplified homepage with carefully curated content front and center. Its concept is to enhance community engagement. Users will notice the town’s logo and branding colors are cohesively integrated throughout.

“We think it’s important to address and update the website,” said Town Administrator Michael J. Sullivan. “It is the virtual front door to the town of South Hadley. Technology, and the way people think about gathering information, is always being added and changed.”

A news and announcements section spotlights recent press releases and town updates as a way for residents to keep up with South Hadley’s latest news directly from the source.

The calendar has been made larger and divvied into three categories – a meeting calendar solely for board and committee meetings, a recreation and community calendar, and a trash schedule. The ability to see all of the items in one calendar remains by clicking “View All Events,” Select a Calendar” and then checking “All Calendars.”

A community spotlight acts as an opportunity for the town to feature services of interest to residents long-term. One spotlight is dedicated to new residents and filled with information those new to town might not know, such as how to determine their district or billing details. Another spotlight provides a link to a service called eCode360, which allows the public to digitally search through South Hadley bylaws and regulations. A third spotlight focuses on finances through a platform called ClearGov. With this service, residents can view infographic-based breakdowns of both school and town budgets, expenditures and revenues.

“It’s a continuous improvement process,” said Sullivan. He noted the “New to South Hadley” page as an example of how requests and concerns received by the administration office made staff think about creating a landing page for new residents looking for information on their new hometown.

The navigation system at the top of the website has been cleaned up but largely remains the same. Buttons at the left of the page highlight the most-used sections of the website in a quickly accessible way. These remain fixed on the page as the user scrolls. The “Notify Me” button allows residents to subscribe to email or text notifications for when board meetings, agendas and minutes are posted, or to subscribe to alerts about closures, emergencies or events. A “GIS Mapping” button has been added.

The redesign process was overseen by staff and facilitated by CivicPlus, the town’s current website hosting provider. The new site will still be found at www.southhadleyma.gov.

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