Oakland’s Website Overhaul Is Underway


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A new Design League embedded with city departments is helping identify which services to digitize.

In Oakland, California, the six-person Oakland Design League is currently working city departments to revamp online services with the goal of launching a new website in a few months.

With one-time funds to redo the site, the city was able to hire a small team to embed with city departments as part of the redesign effort.

The team is based out of the Civic Design Lab, a collaborative workspace on the ninth floor of Oakland City Hall.

Analytics and user research will be used to help departments determine which services to digitize, from internal agencies like Human Resources to more visible ones like the Oakland Police Department.

“Our current website doesn’t really have great analytics,” Mai-Ling Garcia, Oakland’s online engagement manager, said in an interview. “We don’t really have a strategy around it.”

What’s planned: oaklandnet.com will move to oakland.ca.gov and away from a portal model. The code will be open source.

A set of citywide standards for site writing and design are being refined at the same time.

“What we want is to build digital infrastructure,” Garcia said.

Dave Nyczepir is a News Editor at Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.

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