This project began with an 8-week planning period. During this time, we met with members of both sides of the government, broke down all of their requirements, and categorized information by type and user intent. Residents of the City of Rome and Floyd County are the biggest and most important audience, so we needed to cater to their needs as they navigate the site.
We found that there were some places where it was important to distinguish where a user lives (i.e. the police and water departments mentioned earlier), but since other departments overlapped (like animal control or the tax commissioner), it didn’t make sense to completely split the website into two destinations. After this realization, our main goal was to present easy-to-find information across the site, while making division only where it matters.
To do this, we asked which topics are important for residents, and which departments correspond with those items. For example, everyone has to pay a water bill, so the water and sewer departments should be easy to find, but with a clear division between the two governments.
For local business owners, we made sure that the most-used departments were extremely visible. This included the Downtown Development Authority, information about the airport, and a link to the Rome Floyd Chamber website.
During this planning period, we also looked at other government websites from across the country to see what Rome representatives liked and disliked, as well as what could realistically work for this project. From there, we created designs that spoke to Rome and Floyd County as a whole. This is evident from the large photo on the home page and the “Popular Searches” section, which is essentially a list of things our clients wanted to point people to easily. Lastly, we needed to design a visual cue for city and county governments so users know exactly where they are in the site. Our solution for this was simple: a color-coded header.
We also created many features to make sure any user could find exactly what they are looking for, as well as meet all the needs and expectations of both governments:
List of Departments
This is pretty straightforward: we helped build a searchable list of all departments. Each department has a page, as well as an assigned staff member to manage their content. This helps the IT department to delegate tasks.
Bid & Contract Opportunities
To handle government projects, we created a list of all bids that can be filtered by government (Rome, Floyd, or Joint), category (Lighting, Fire Hydrants, Vehicles), as well as bid type (Open or Closed).
Both governments use different methods for applying for jobs. The City of Rome job form is built in, while Floyd County uses an external service. We found a way to support each government having different protocols.
This page would house any and all files Rome and Floyd need to be able to share. Governments are required to have certain documents available for the general public. So, they needed the ability to label things very specifically so that it’s easy to find. Everything is sortable by government, then by department.
Both governments needed a central place to host any kind of upcoming event. So, we created this calendar where department heads can add their own information at will.
This is one of the most unique features on the website. My RomeFloyd is a tool that allows users to type in their address and find out whether they live in the City of Rome or Floyd County. Along with that, this page shows the services and departments relevant to the user, their commissioners, the school systems their address is zoned for, as well as any other general information. This page is incredibly useful for people looking to move to Rome or Romans who are relocating and want to find that specific information.
Ability to be updated
One of the clients’ biggest concerns was the ability to be relatively self-sufficient and handle website management on their own. So, we made sure that they could edit and add almost any piece of content on their site. Of course, we also trained the users and made sure they had a good grasp of all features and capabilities.