City launches ‘user-friendly’ site

The City of Barrie has launched its updated website, a redesign undertaken to make the site more user-friendly, accessible and to enhance its functionality.
The upgrade was produced over several months of planning and development.
“We needed a site that would reflect the quality and breadth of the services that we deliver and a site that would engage our citizens,” said Mayor Jeff Lehman. “Staff worked with the feedback we received from the public and our internal teams to deliver something that, we think, will raise the bar for municipal websites and improve overall user experience.”
The site, says a city press release, is designed to serve residents, visitors and business interests.
“With hundreds of pages and a broad range of user groups to serve, a great deal of emphasis was placed on information architecture. The new site map is comprehensive and easy to navigate. Residents, visitors, and business people each have information areas devoted to their needs.”
The site is being launched in two phases: the first, unveiled on Jan. 25, provides visitors with a number of new online services, including: improved accessibility with the ‘browse aloud’ feature, secure online portal for users to sign-in and view their payment history, virtual cashier capability, online parking ticket payment, GIS online map, purchase tickets for Georgian Theatre, and the mayor’s blog.
The second phase launches in the second half of 2011, and will include: animal licenses, registration and payment, sign permit registration and payment, a business directory, discussion forums and blogs, facilities booking.

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