New York City released a significant update to its NYC.gov site. City officials from the Department of Information Technology, 311 Services and other local government offices came together on the site upgrade which now puts high demand services out front giving local residents better access to commonly needed information. The upgrade is site-wide and is designed to be easier to navigate and faster to use.
The redesign also uses responsive web design, enabling users to access NYC.gov from any device and see a website optimized for that screen. NYC.gov serves 35 million unique visitors per year making it not only a high traffic government website, but a high traffic website in general. City officials acknowledged that as more and more residents access the internet from their mobile devices, mobile traffic is on the rise for NYC.gov. Last year, the city got 25% of its web traffic from mobile devices, providing the impetus for the responsive design.
The jobs section has also been updated to put all city government job listings in one place.
Notably, New York’s 311 service, which has already received high marks for usability has been upgraded further to allow residents to submit 311 requests directly from the homepage. The feature, called “311 Booker” expands the reach of the 311 service while providing residents with important non-emergency public service information.
In July 2011, the city partnered with General Assembly to host its ?rst of?cial hackathon, welcoming over 100 participants to collaboratively build prototypes that would guide the future development of NYC.gov. The event, titled Reinvent NYC.gov, was supported by access to leading technology APIs and City data, and participants generated 14 proposals for the redesign of NYC.gov. A panel of judges from the public and private sectors, including Meetup’s Chief Executive Of?cer Scott Heiferman, General Assembly’s Mimi Chun and David Tisch, selected ?ve winners based on innovation, usability, social integration, location technology and ingenuity. Winning hackathon designs were included as references in the city’s official request for proposals for the design update of NYC.gov.