Cleaner and easier to use with improved functionality are how JCPRD staff are describing a recent refresh of the agency’s website, JCPRD.com. The updated site went live May 12, and a new easier-to-load JCPRD mobile app was launched the same day.
“The overall goal was to make the site easier to use than it had been,” said JCPRD Web Administrator Bryan Thompson. “Over time, the website had gotten clunky with long scrolling layouts, and that long scrolling really bugged users, especially content contributors here at JCPRD. So we wanted to get to the content faster, have less clutter, and just make it over-all simpler. There is less scrolling, and the top navigation bar is constantly on the screen, so it’s easier to navigate. The content space on the site is wider so it fills more of the screen so there’s less scrolling. The search functionality has also improved. I love how it now allows us to advertise for events and programs on the homepage much easier.”
“We wanted to make it more user friendly and intuitive,” added Marketing and Communications Manager Richard Smalley. “It has a really clean look to it and keeping the main navigation menu visible all the time really makes it easy to use.”
The changes were planned by an internal committee of JCPRD employees, who work with website provider CivicPlus of Manhattan, Kan.
“The website committee represented all the JCPRD departments,” Smalley said. “We met a number of times over the past eight months. There were a number of common ideas and issues identified with the previous design we all agreed on.”
“We worked with the CivicPlus design team,” Thompson added. “It’s like the team that designed our previous site, but this group is dedicated to redesigns. They sent us specific images and content, we approved or sent back changes, and then they delivered to us on the site and the app.”
Thompson noted that the website’s navigation and internal pages remain the same, so if users have bookmarks to specific JCPRD pages, they should still function.
A major improvement of the new mobile app is that it is easier to find and install than the previous version.
“CivicPlus has updated their mobile design and have been able to work with the Apple iOS store to produce native apps for sites like JCPRD,” Thompson said. “So now by searching for JCPRD in the iOS or Google Play store, users can download the app, which is faster than the previous version. The old app was able to be downloaded as a native JCPRD app on Android devices, but until now, CivicPlus was not able to build out individual apps for the iOS devices, so users had to download a clunky CivicMobile app, which then allowed them to search for JCPRD. Now, the native app loads fast, and works better than the previous version. The app also has been designed to be intuitive to the most visited pages and categories on the (JCPRD) website.”