Informed by resident input, the new site will meet the needs of all Chattanogans with a user-centered and service-driven design
The City of Chattanooga today announced a new, year-long effort to overhaul its website, with the goal of better meeting the needs of residents through a revamped, user- and service-oriented design.
User data show that residents who visit the existing website – which hasn’t been upgraded since 2012 – often leave without finding the information they need. Content is organized by City departments rather than services or resources, and the site is not accessible for mobile users, residents with certain disabilities, or those who are not fluent in English.
The new site will be informed by resident input during each stage of development – from information architecture design to prototype and beta testing – to ensure Chattanooga.gov becomes an essential digital resource and information hub that’s accessible to everyone.
“Providing responsive and effective local government is a primary goal of the One Chattanooga plan, and a huge piece of that work is building a website that actually meets the information and service needs of all residents,” said Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly. “We’re excited to work with the community to design improvements and upgrades that will make their day-to-day better, from a real-time alert system for road closures to a city-wide events calendar and engagement platform.”
The City selected globally-renowned information technology and software development company CI&T to lead the overhaul, which was fully budgeted for as part of the current fiscal year.
City Council originally approved the request for proposals (RFP) for the project in June 2022 and tonight approved the final purchase request for the contract, which totals $998,402.83. CI&T was one of six companies that responded to the RFP.
“CI&T brings an expansive portfolio of proven digital solutions and will approach this project with a user experience and mobile-first mindset. The result will be a ‘Digital Chattanooga City Hall’ for all residents and visitors alike,” said Chief Information Officer Tyson Morris. “CI&T’s expertise and guidance, combined with ongoing user-testing and input from the community, will ensure we build a website and back-end-infrastructure that will serve our city for years to come and enable new features and capabilities as Chattanooga grows and the needs change.”
New Features, Applications, and Content
The existing Chattanooga.gov website is organized according to the structure of city departments, which is not user-friendly or intuitive for residents. Additionally, the outdated web content management system is not responsive to mobile devices, making it difficult for residents to access the site from their phones, which often serve as primary browsing devices.
The new website will be:
- Built in a mobile-first, responsive design that is modern and visually engaging on any device
- Organized clearly and consistently according to user input
- Accessible according to the latest standards for the Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design
- Translated into Spanish according to the most highly trafficked topic areas, with a plan for full-site Spanish translation and ongoing maintenance within the following year
- Easily searchable and sortable by popular content, like city services and events
The redesign will also prioritize new user-friendly features informed by resident feedback. Examples include:
- A new, comprehensive city-wide calendar with options to sort by neighborhood, submit community-led events, or easily add an event to a personal calendar
- An opt-in alert system to ensure residents stay informed of timely updates on things like road closures and garbage collection schedule changes
- Easier digital payment options for city bills or parking tickets
- Regular news feeds and live streams from City events
- A new engagement platform for residents to provide feedback on new or ongoing proposals and projects
Residents who are interested in getting involved and staying up to date on progress can sign up for updates at //cha.city/webredesign.