Auqastar presentation to ISAB: 12/3/2012

Dec 03_12 ISAB Webportal presentation

Here are some comments from members attending:

Specific Advice

  • Get a consult from an actual web designer.
  • Give it its own name:
  • Get some help on making the info graphics much more      compelling.
  • The site design is outdated and not engaging.
  • The look and feel does not invite the user and it      provides too many choices for navigation.  There are at least 4      “nav bars” on the web site.  Navigation should be      unambiguous and concisely and prominently located.
  • The modern web uses immersive imagery and colors that render true on the screen.
  • The misuse of color and arbitrary font usage is      disturbing and can be confusing to the user.  If the color of the      graphs means nothing, then the graphs should not be colored.  It’s      really that simple.  Don’t try to convey information where none is      present.  A better idea would be to use color to indicate something.
  • The average data should not be calculated in realtime      from the 6 million daily readings. Instead the town should ask for      *optional* demographic data from each resident and then build weekly (or      so) averages
  • While the current Aquastar site will be hugely useful      to some people, it needs to incorporate more “call to action”      items.

Role of the ISAB

  • But instead of talking about the details of a website, you should be talking about the concept for a good website.
  • I am concerned that the Town is using the ISAM (or any board) for basic design decisions.  User Interface design is a well-defined area of research and practice and it should be left to professionals skilled in the art.

Other Sites to Consider


Citizen engagement and natural disasters

I can’t stop reading stories about New Yorkers and folks near the Jersey shore. I’m particularly interested in how people are forming small bands of brothers to help those who might be overlooked in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. And, as a member of the Town of Cary’s Technology Task Force, I’m wondering how we would respond as a community to something like this. All towns have a disaster recovery and relief plan. But how do we plan to use technology to help people in need–and possibly allow people to organize and help themselves? Continue reading

What mobile/web apps should we pursue?

Crime data. Greenways maps. Class schedules. There is an abundance of data out there, and the Technology Task Force is looking for ways to deliver it to Cary citizens via streamlined, easy-to-use mobile/web applications (aka, “apps”).

Do you have a ideas for apps that would improve your interaction with the Town of Cary? Let us know what you think.  Below are some ideas we’re looking into.  Suggest your own or comment on other posted ideas! Continue reading

How design can improve citizen engagement with government agencies

The city of Milwaukee engaged a local advertising agency to help communicate with the public in a more concise, consistent way. Their first step was to review online assets for several major police departments, put them on a wall and search for ways to deliver a better experience for citizens.

They were able to distill all the information they need to communicate to five sections–all delivered from one page. They also added a section called The Source that shares unfiltered news from the department.

Read the article from Fast Company.

You really can’t fully appreciate this website until you see how it works. While the design is rich and deep, the navigation is actually super simple and there are only around 5 pages. Play with it here: