Kane County has redesigned its website — a homepage improvement project that represents a lot more than a new coat of paint.
The County Board website — www.countyofkane.org — is now easier than ever for Kane County residents view and use, and the upgrade was done almost entirely in-house.
The newly designed site launched this morning (Friday, June 15, 2018) features a mobile-friendly design, improved user functionality, enhanced ability to pay bills online and an elegant, streamlined appearance. It is, in fact, a leap into 21st Century web design at a fraction of the cost other units of government have paid for similar overhauls.
By using the internal Kane County Information Technologies Department website team with the help of a design contractor, the redesign and implementation of the new design cost less than $9,000. For comparison purposes, if the county had sought to have the entire website redesigned with an outside vendor, the cost was estimated at more than $100,000.
Ongoing maintenance costs by an outside vendor can cost as much as $40,000 a year.
Perhaps the most significant changes to the site is its mobile-friendly design, which adapts to the screen size of mobile devices. County website analytics showed that more than 30 percent of all users access the site via mobile devices.
IT Executive Director Roger Fahnestock approached the web team this past Spring and requested they do research and design a new look for the website.
“My main focus for the new website was accessibility for mobile users,” Fahnestock said.
The research consisted of finding the top visited Kane County website pages and analyzing who used them and how they viewed the pages.
Fahnestock also put forth the suggestion to add an easier way for the public to make payments on the website. The new ePayments page offers links to make payments on taxes, court fines and licenses. A new ePayments icon is located on the homepage of the website.
That homepage has more frequently-updated content, including calendar events for Kane County meetings and a news feed which streams stories from Kane County Connects. According to the website team, providing a constant stream of new content will give users an incentive to visit more often and make it easier for them to find what they’re looking for once they land on the homepage.
While the website has an updated look, the same content provided before is still available. Pages for Kane County offices and departments remain intact, using a main menu that is similar to the previous design.
The website also has a search bar that utilizes Google search.