In another step towards a more open and responsive government, Miami-Dade County has re-launched its award-winning web portal, miamidade.gov. The new design comes as Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez implements his plan to reduce the number of County departments from 42 to 26.
The essentials are still there, but now users should find information easier to locate. An Online Services Top 10 list - which includes such items as public records search or water bill payment - is now within easy reach. Just below that is a Topics of Interest section, which contains simple descriptions like "Housing" or "Taxes" to keep users on track with their search. Above an animated highlight reel is an "action bar," which should appeal to task-oriented users who want to report a problem, make a payment, search maps or submit ideas. Social media and sharing tools continue to play a major role in the design.
Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez said, "The redesigned miamidade.gov is a sign of my commitment to delivering better customer service. It is one of the many ways we are making government more transparent and accessible."
The County's new minimalist approach to presenting an abundance of information and services might take some getting used to for the one million users who visit miamidade.gov each month. But those working behind the scenes are optimistic that the changes will be well-received.
Although organizational change triggered this particular overhaul, Henry Sorí, director of the Miami-Dade County Community Information and Outreach department said his staff is constantly monitoring customer preferences, feedback and behaviors to ensure that miamidade.gov remains useful. "We first launched miamidade.gov in 2001 and we're now on version four. Times change, needs change, technology changes - miamidade.gov has to change as well to assure we are meeting the needs of all our residents."
In the months to come, users can look forward to even more enhancements to miamidade.gov like plainer language content and improved search functionality.