In my previous post, where you can read here, I tackled my town of Mountainside’s okay-but-not-great website and made suggestions for changes. Most of the changes revolved around reorganization. None of the website tabs seemed unnecessary, they mostly just seemed to be in odd places. Luckily for Mountainside I was their Marie Kondo and I happily reorganized some of the aspects of the site that were certainly not bringing me joy.
Just to recap what the old website looked like I attached the site map I drew up of it below then added the new and improved site map underneath it. I’ll go into the different choices and I made and why under both images.
Hopefully the second one is easier to look at and overall more palatable than the first. In reality, I can’t say I made too many big changes from the original. To start I combined the home tab and the welcome tab together as they practically did the same thing anyway. I felt like this was an obvious choice since the inclusion of the features on the welcome tab to the home tab could bring in a better feeling of a cohesive community.
The largest change I made probably comes from the combining of the governance tab and the departments tab to create the community tab. My thinking behind this decision was that people clicking on either of the two original tabs are most likely members of the Mountainside community and are definitely looking for information regarding the town they live in. In addition to that I also decided to make the Mountainside Public Library it’s own tab aside from departments because I know that a lot of residents are most likely looking for information about the library on its own and they need a shorter way to get there. Similarly I created an emergency tab with fire, police, and rescue information. This decision was made because I thought that if people were in the need of emergency numbers, they wouldn’t want to sift through multiple tabs trying to find it.
The next change I did was include a shop local tab. This tab was especially important to me because I am a strong believer in supporting independent businesses and I thought it would be a great way to instill a sense of community in Mountainside. The tab includes independent restaurants, shops and artists in town.
Another choice I made was to reorganize the recreation tab. I wanted the senior activities sub tab to be higher up and easier to find because I know that the older generation sometimes has difficulties navigating websites. They shouldn’t feel ostracized from their community just because they’re not as tech savvy.
Lastly, as I mentioned in my previous post I was impressed that there was a search bar on the website, but upon further investigation I noticed that there was no e-mail to write to with questions. I added it to the contact us tab which previously only featured phone numbers.