Surrey Website Honoured with Second Distinction Award
October 24, 2011
Surrey – The City of Surrey received a service delivery award last week at the Government Technology Exhibition nd Conference (GTEC) for its website redesign and implementation project. The award of distinction honours the project team for its exceptional leadership and innovation in the delivery of services to Canadians. In September, the project received a best practice award from the Union of British Columbia Municipalities.
“In order to be transparent and accessible, it’s important that people can access the information and services they need in a timely fashion,” says Mayor Dianne Watts. “Our new site has improved search engine capabilities, navigation tools and information delivery. It can be accessed through mobile devices such as an iPhone or BlackBerry and it is the first in Canada to provide access to live and archived council meetings on a mobile device.”
The website redesign project, which began in the Spring of 2010, was designed to establish a stronger and more effective online presence for the City of Surrey. The community consultation process included input from various groups, including residents, businesses, educators, youth, seniors, the arts community, the multicultural advisory committee, City staff, and others.
The City also launched a new site for youth, which includes Canada’s first iPhone application providing Parks & Recreation programming information. There is also a new site for children, which is designed to be a resource tool for students, parents and teachers. The City collaborated with the Surrey School District to develop the kids site, which contains information and interactive games that are tied to the school curriculum and teach children about community and local government. The Surrey Public Library website was also redesigned to be more user-friendly and modern.
Following the launch, traffic to the website has significantly increased. Statistics show a 117 per cent increase in hits in 2011, compared to the same time period in 2010. The number of pages viewed per visit has increased by 104 per cent, while the number of unique pages accessed has increased by 334 per cent, reflecting the additional information now available on the website.
Following the launch, further changes were introduced to enhance the online experience including:
1. development and launch of five unique domains for the major City events
2. development and launch of a ‘microsite’ for the Municipal Elections
3. live online streaming for the Mayor’s State of the City address
Staff are currently working on the following enhancements:
1. development of a community calendar:
- will allow community organizations the ability to highlight their events on the City website
- estimated completion date: December 2011
2. implementation of new and improved social tools
- will enable visitors to the website to discuss information, ask questions and provide feedback within individual pages of the website;
- will enable visitors to the website to “share” content through social websites including Facebook and Twitter;
- will provide blogging capabilities, which will be rolled out in 2012 as part of a broader enhanced online communication strategy; and
- additional RSS feeds will be added to specific areas of the website to ensure visitors can easily stay informed on any updates made to different areas of the website.
- estimated completion date: January 2012
For the past 17 years, the GTEC Distinction Awards have been the pre-eminent public sector recognition program in Canada, for the use of information technology and information management in government service delivery. Each year, the Distinction Awards judging committees conduct an extensive nominations, evaluation and judging program for hundreds of projects submitted by federal, provincial and municipal government teams. The 3rd party judging process is managed by SCOAP, a Canadian association of IT leaders, and the judging panels include executives from both the public and the private sectors.
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Senior Communications Specialist
Office of the Mayor