From the home office:
Today, December 1, 2010, we are introducing stlouis-mo.gov, the new City of St. Louis website.
Over the next few months, http://stlouis-mo.gov will replace http://stlouis.missouri.org. Although the website is up and running, it is very much a work in progress. City offices, agencies, and departments will continue to add content throughout the transition period - and we're asking you for your feedback.
Why a Preview?
Stlouis.missouri.org has been part of the St. Louis fabric since 1995. People understand its organization and know how to find the information they need. There are now new ways to get people the information they need in more effective ways. We are excited to introduce this new website, but we realize that, for some, a new website means learning new things.
Our hope is that an early introduction to the website will provide those who are used to the City's old website a chance to:
(1)Contribute feedback and comments to improve the new website before we make the final switch.
(2)Familiarize themselves with the new website and learn to locate and find information.
(3)Update links to City online resources from the many community organizations, neighborhood websites, and area institutions that link to the current City website.
Phases to the Migration
The migration to the new site will be phased over the next few months and completed by May 1, 2011.
Phase I - stlouis.missouri.org will continue as the main link for the City web presence.
Phase II - The public will be directed first to stlouis-mo.gov, but a link to the older website will continue to be available to locate information.
Phase III - User traffic will be monitored to determine when the majority of visitors remain on stlouis-mo.gov. At this point, the content on stlouis.missouri.org will no longer be available.
The transition is completed when the domain stlouis.missouri.org is discontinued and stlouis-mo.gov becomes the official website address for the City of St. Louis.
How to find information on stlouis-mo.gov?
The new website has adopted a new approach to organize and classify information. The entire site relies on an underlying information architecture. Every page created is classified by organization, topic, audience, content type, and geography. This approach enables content to be presented in flexible ways.
Below are several ways information can be found:
Search - On the upper right corner of every page there is a search feature powered by Google. This is a powerful search tool that yields relevant results.
Popular Links - The most popular links are listed on the homepage. These links are selectedobjectively by Google analytics. Links appear in "popular links" based on the frequency these resources are accessed.
Browse by Topic or Audience - These sections, allow user, to find related information based on topic. Each page created in the website is associated with a topic or audience. Services - Pages that describe how to obtain services with the City are grouped under this heading. Service pages are listed in alphabetical order, by department, or by topic.
We are delighted to be able to provide this new resource to you and that City offices, agencies, and departments are now able to manage their own information and extend their services to the public through this new website.
Much hard work has gone on behind the scenes, with many department directors re-evaluating how best to provide the public with access to their services and information, city employees attending classes to learn the software, countless hours spent creating information pages, and all divisions of the Information Technology Services Agency working on implementing a new technology.
Usability and Accessibility Features
The website organization and presentation has usability and accessibility in mind. We followed widely approved web design usabillity and accessibility standards and adopted best practices outlined by Jacob Nielsen, the guru of usability. A feature we are pleased with is the ability to customize fonts and colors. This is a useful feature for individuals with vision issues. Google Translate is available on all pages and can be used to translate the site in many languages.
We want and need your feedback to make the site a useful resource to the City's many constituents. At the bottom of each webpage, visitors have the opportunity to send comments about the page directly to the department and author of the page. We hope you send us your thoughts - and we promise to try to make this an accessible and easy-to-use website.