The Zone 7 Water Agency unveiled its revamped website earlier this month, showcasing a streamlined, more user-friendly platform with updated content, improved cybersecurity and a new look.
Agency officials said in a statement that the site “aims to be easier and more user-friendly to navigate, increase district transparency, and ensure accessibility to all users (including users with disabilities) on all platforms “.
âThe website will provide a more user-friendly, transparent and accessible space for the entire community,â said Board Chair Olivia Sanwong.
As part of the agency’s five-year strategic plan, the entire digital makeover process began with an assessment of how community members had interacted with the website over the past several years and determining what content to use. they accessed the most frequently.
Using this information, the new site was then developed with quick and easy navigation in mind, whether users are looking for application forms or news and updates from Zone 7.
Accessibility improvements to accommodate users with motor, visual, hearing or cognitive disabilities were given special consideration and to ensure that the website would function properly on a variety of devices, in particular with assistive technologies such as screen readers.
Designed to meet the “gold standard for accessible websites,” the enhancements also improve the site’s search engine optimization (SEO) by ranking the district’s most popular website pages higher in the results. search for the terms most frequently searched by users. This will help users find district information quickly, officials said.
“Given the increasing cybersecurity requirements on critical infrastructure,” officials said the site has been redesigned with an improved hosting platform, content management systems, and encrypted and secure connections “to reflect the best practices “and” to protect the integrity and availability of, as well as the privacy and security of members of the Zone 7 community while using the site. “
Zone 7 spokesperson Alexandra Bradley told The Weekly the agency was “very happy to unveil” the new website, accessible from a desktop computer, smartphone or mobile phone. Tablet.
In a previous statement, Bradley said Zone 7 “will continue to evolve based on what we hear and see from our community” and that the site “will always be, and always should be, a work in progress.”
âWe believe this new site will be a big step forward in providing the community with the resources they need,â said Bradley.
A number of ‘on the water’ resources are now available on the site, including educational resources for teachers. A virtual Kid Zone Schools program offers free, fully distance learning courses, which teachers can assign to students on their own schedule.
Staff will be able to “quickly adjust the site architecture as necessary to meet the changing needs of the community,” and a “Website Comments” link in the site footer encourages user comments, which can also be submitted to zone7water.com/feedback.
In total, the agency paid Digital Deployment $ 66,513 to design and create the entire website. According to Bradley, a 10% contingency “was not used and entered the budget.” A communications company was also hired to help with content creation and writing for $ 29,500.
The redesigned Zone 7 website can be visited at www.zone7water.com.