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Albemarle County Newsroom

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Upgraded County Website Improves Customer Convenience, Employee Productivity
6/14/2010

Albemarle County today launched its upgraded website, designed to provide better 24-hour access to County services and information through user-friendly navigation, expanded online services, updated technology for automatic County news alerts and a new graphic layout to help citizens find resources more quickly.

Highlights of the new home page include prominent Hot Topics, Events, Site Highlights and News items to provide a quick “at-a-glance” overview of County activities of interest to citizens. A Stay Connected section offers alternate ways to stay up-to-date on County information, with links to the County’s new Facebook site, RSS feeds and Amail signup. A powerful site search option, alphabetized list of services, top most requested lists and a comprehensive contacts feature provide additional ways to help citizens easily find what they need on the site. 

An analysis of the website’s Return on Investment, or ROI, for 2009, calculated that the website totalled more than  $870,000 in savings and avoided costs last year even considering the one time cost of $30,000 spent on the redesign project.

“The website is our single most powerful and productive tool for engaging and doing business with our citizens, and the site statistics continue to indicate strong growth in the numbers of people who use the web to get information and communicate with us, “  said Community Relations Director Lee Catlin in announcing the upgrade.  “It is essential that we focus on improving usability and taking advantage of emerging technologies to keep the website as productive as possible.”

Citizens will still find popular information and services such as property records, GIS data and mapping, meeting agendas and notices, building application look-up and meeting notices on the site.  The upgraded website resides at the same web address:  www.albemarle.org.   A “Welcome to the New Website” section is available for first time visitors.

Initial planning and funding allocation for the web redesign began last year after County staff and citizens identified the need for updated web functionality and improved site layout and navigation.  Additionally, the 2008 Citizens Survey reported that 88% of County residents have access to the internet, making the website the County’s most efficient tool for reaching citizens through one source.  At six years old, the ability to improve the existing website was limited and a comprehensive redesign offered the best opportunity to make the significant changes required to address current and future needs.

By offering citizens more convenient, self-service options for doing business with the County, the redesigned site is also expected to increase employee productivity and efficiency. 


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