Administrative Report No 16-2012
Section G - City MANAGER
Monday, November 26, 2012
(G2) City Website Phase 1 Report
(Files CK. 261-20, CC. 365-6 and CB.365-4l)
that the Saskatoon.ca: User Experience Research Audit and Analysis Report (Attachment 1) be received as information;
that City Council approve the project plan identified in the report to provide the foundation for the terms of reference for Phase 2 Website Design and Implementation; and
that this report be forwarded to the 2013 Business Plan and Budget deliberations.
TOPIC AND PURPOSE
This report describes the findings of the Saskatoon.ca website audit, outlines the proposed project plan for the re-design of the website and includes a funding strategy for its implementation.
A review has been completed of the City of Saskatoon's website.
Success criteria have been developed for a new website.
Recommendations set scope for development in Phase 2.
A project plan has been developed from the data, analysis and recommendations generated in the review.
A request to fund the development of a new website is included in the 2013 Business Plan and Budget.
This report outlines how Saskatoon.ca, as a key communication and innovation medium for the City, can effectively leverage change in alignment with numerous recommendations in the Strategic Plan. Development of a new website for the City that is more customer and citizen friendly has been identified as a long-term priority. The improved website supports the City of Saskatoon's Strategic Goal of Continuous Improvement through recommendations which would provide a coordinated and improved approach to customer service. The new website can potentially increase productivity and improve efficiency and be used to better serve citizens and connect to stakeholders. As a communication tool, it will be integrated, proactive and professional.
A Call for Proposals for the City of Saskatoon Website Audit and Focus Testing project was issued on June 20, 2011, and closed on July 14, 2011. Infusion Development Corp. commenced work on the project on December 7, 2011.
Phase 1 - A Review of the Saskatoon.ca Website
Through consultation with citizens and stakeholders and a multi-faceted technical analysis, recommendations, terms of reference and a cost estimate for the next phases of work have been prepared to guide the implementation of a new website.
The City of Saskatoon website must be a user-friendly and effective communication tool. Saskatoon.ca creates an identity for the municipality and provides information and services to more than 107,000 people annually. According to Statistics Canada's 2010 Canadian Internet Usage Survey, Saskatoon has the highest rate of internet usage in Canada, at 88%. This suggests the significance and importance for the City of Saskatoon to have a visually appealing and properly functioning website.
Phase I of the website redesign project includes research and analysis of the existing site, (see Attachment 1: Saskatoon.ca: User Experience Research Audit and Analysis Report) as well as a high-level conceptual design to test the recommendations.
The methodology for the study was driven by the objectives in the proposal call, and further refined by the project Steering Committee and the consultant. The study combines multiple evaluation tools to provide a total picture of the user experience of Saskatoon.ca. The process revealed or confirmed issues, challenges and opportunities within the existing Saskatoon.ca site and the findings are outlined in detail in the report. Some of the findings are:
- Information is not easy to locate.
- Some of the tools identified that eServices are either not available or not functioning as intended.
- Information flow within the website is only one-way, from the City to its citizens, but not vice-versa.
- Content is frequently inaccurate or dated.
- Saskatoon.ca has limited accessibility for citizens with disabilities.
- The website is not optimized for access through new devices, such as mobile smart phones and tablets.
Success Criteria Developed for a New Website
From the findings, success criteria were established, which were also vetted by the public focus group. A successful redesign of Saskatoon.ca will:
- Be the authoritative source for civic information;
- Access information within three clicks;
- Load information in less than five seconds;
- Present readable and legible information to all audiences on a wide variety of devices;
- Facilitate two-way interaction with citizens;
- Create an improved perception of responsive government through the expansion of web services.
These success criteria bridge the broader goals of the Strategic Plan identified earlier.
Phase 2 - Website Design and Implementation
Recommendations in the design are detailed in Attachment 1 and include:
- Improved access to information and navigation by renovating information architecture.
- Search function improvements.
- Improve accessibility according to international standards.
- Better integrate social media.
- Subsidiary websites, such as those for the Forestry Farm Park and Zoo and the Land Branch should be separated from Saskatoon.ca to assert the independence of their business operations.
- Have a dedicated Web Master in order to improve web management and data accuracy.
The high-level conceptual design was completed in Phase 1, and this test fit, or design mock-up of these recommendations, is included in Attachment 2. These conceptual sketches describe one possible approach to the redesign. More detailed design work would be necessary in close collaboration with stakeholders, the public, the Corporate Information Services Branch, and Communications staff. Based on this initial work, the next phase of the website design and construction can begin.
The Project Plan
A project plan has been prepared to provide the foundation for the terms of reference for Phase 2: Website Design and Implementation. The project plan is directed from the consultant's data and analysis gathered in the audit, from the conceptual design that was prepared to test fit the recommendations, and drawn from the expertise of the consultant in past projects of this type. It is comprised of three parts including the visual design, technical design and the construction. This report proposes that the work is carried out over two years, with the construction and content migration completed in part in 2013, with the remainder in 2014. The consultant's report excludes additional costs associated with the development of subsidiary sites and Intranet. The estimated costs are based on the assumption a new website will be developed in the current Sharepoint environment.
OPTIONS TO THE RECOMMENDATION
An option would be to not accept the project plan, and to not take this project forward as part of the 2013 budget deliberations for further discussion. This option is not recommended in this report, as it would delay the project redesign and construction.
There are no policy implications.
Financial impact of the next phase of this project is connected to consultant design and construction services, project management, new equipment needs, and departmental content migration. Your Administration proposes phasing the implementation of this work over 2013 and 2014 in order to create smaller portions of work which spread out the financial impact over two years.
In order to construct and test a new website while keeping the existing website operational, some new equipment will be required. The full scope of the required equipment will be better known upon completion of the technical design. Equipment purchases are proposed to be phased-in over two years.
City resources in each department will be required to implement the redesigned website. Departments and Branches will need to review all of their existing information in order to purge outdated content and update information prior to migration to the new site. Staff will also be needed as resources, for the migration and testing that will be led by the consultant. This report proposes content migration resources in both years of the project implementation. Lastly, the redesign of the website may have long-term impacts on departmental operations, resulting in changed or enhanced services. Proposed changes to long-term operating FTE's will be brought forward at a later date following the detailed design in Phase 2, as required.
|Web Audit Report (Completed)||100,000|
|2011/2012 Costs Total||200,000|
|2011/2012 Funding Total||(200,000)|
|V&T Design Contingency||35,000|
|2013 Cost Total||679,000|
|CIS Development Reserve||(100,000)|
|Corporate Capital Reserve||(100,000)|
|Reserve for Capital Expenditures||(479,000)|
|2013 Funding Total||(679,000)|
|2014 Cost Total||471,000|
|Reserve for Capital Expenditures||(471,000)|
|2014 Funding Total||(471,000)|
PUBLIC AND/OR STAKEHOLDER INVOLVEMENT
The consultant research team engaged with stakeholders and the public throughout the project to gather feedback in a number of ways. A total of 26 City employee stakeholders participated in a round-table discussion on December 12, 2011.In January 2012, public focus group discussions were carried out in three different sessions totalling 27 participants.The Steering Committee and the consultant also met￼with Councillors at this time. The draft recommendations were back to the focus group for review and comment on March 7, 2012. A public survey collected information from 277 external users from December 20, 2011, to January 17, 2012. The City of Saskatoon employee survey involved 163 employees over the same time span.
If approved, a Communications Plan, including a public and media relations strategy, will be prepared to ensure internal and external stakeholders, the public, and media are informed at the appropriate stages and for the official launch of a new website.
A highly effective website can improve how the services are offered at City Hall. Ideally, the renovated website could improve the city's service offerings to the public and this would lessen the need to travel to City Hall to carry out business. While this may not be desirable for all citizens, a broader series of services which are efficient and easy to use would likely have a positive net impact on the environment.
There are no privacy implications.
SAFETY/CRIME PREVENTION THROUGH ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN (CPTED)
A CPTED review is not required.
Public Notice pursuant to Section 3 of Policy No. C01-021, Public Notice Policy, is not required.
- EXECUTIVE SUMMARY - Saskatoon.ca User Experience Research Audit and Analysis (A full copy of the report is available upon request.)
- Website Look Before and After.
Randy Grauer, General Manager Community Services Department
Marlys Bilanski, General Manager Corporate Services Department￼
Mike Gutek, General Manager Infrastructure Services Department
Jeff Jorgenson, General Manager Utility Services Department
Murray Tolland City Manager