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New city website caters to mobile audience

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Posted: Saturday, July 12, 2014 9:29 am

The city of Phoenix website,, has a new look and new features for residents, business and visitors that can be viewed more easily from any mobile device.

The city’s website hadn’t been updated since 2008. Now with mobile devices outselling desk-top computers, the site was in need of an update, said Margaret Shalley, city public information officer.

“We wanted to create a website people could easily view on any web-able device like a smartphone or tablet as well as on a desktop,” Shalley said. “Our solution was instead of having a separate mobile website, we decided to make our one website more responsive so it can be viewable on any device.

“The site is being designed in such a way that the content presents itself based on the device. That is all being done behind the scenes. Whether you’re on a desktop or smartphone, it’s the same content but it’s smart enough to know if you’re viewing it from a mobile phone or desktop and adjusts itself accordingly.”

The new home page has links for residents, visitors and businesses. The content for those categories is based on Google Analytics and what was being searched for most often.

On each page, the city has also provided quick links to requesting services, reporting items and finding public records.

Not all the content from the old site was moved over. City staff have been working with web developers to go through all the site’s content and weed out unnecessary items. Content managers have also been asked to adjust the writing style on each page to cater more to a mobile audience. They’ve also created a master calendar with city events as well as public meetings all in one place.

City staff consulted dozens of stakeholder groups before launching the website in pilot form. The whole process of designing and getting feedback took about 18 months.

“For transparency and efficiency it’s a way better site than it was,” Shalley said.

City staff expect the site to be fully functional outside of pilot mode by this morning. To view the new site, visit

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or

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