City of Nanaimo seeks input to improve web design

The City of Nanaimo wants to improve its online presence and is looking for feedback from the community.

The City of Nanaimo wants to improve its online presence and is looking for feedback from the community.

The website is a big deal for the city – more than 30,000 unique visitors use the site each month, 80 per cent of whom are from the Nanaimo area, said Jason Birch, senior applications analyst with the city.

But the city’s website was last updated in 2007 and much has changed since then.

First of all, while less than one per cent of people were viewing the site on mobile devices in 2009, now more than a quarter of users access the site using mobile devices – a problem because the current site was not designed to be easy to access from a mobile device, he said.

Second, the city added a number of services to the site and residents can now view business licenses and building permits online, pay utility bills online, and search parks and public art, amongst other things.

But many people are unaware these services are available and the current design does not help, said Birch.

To help determine improvements that can be made, staff recently launched a survey that pops up when new visitors enter the site and held a public meeting at the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre for more in-depth discussion.

Birch said the city has received about 300 survey responses so far – he encourages people to visit the site and take the survey, as staff hope to collect at least 500 responses – and more than a dozen people showed up to the meeting.

Birch said the feedback from residents ranges from not wanting the site to change to being frustrated with it.

Some preliminary results of the online and in-person consultations show that 40 per cent of visitors are interested in reading city bylaws or policies but have trouble finding the specific information they are looking for; people struggled to find the date of the next council meeting; and the city is not doing a good enough job of linking to other agencies such as the Regional District of Nanaimo or the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation, he said.

“We found places where the current site structure made it hard to find information,” said Birch.

Staff want to tie in more social media elements, which is difficult to retrofit into the existing website, and provide people with an online avenue to let staff know whether the site is meeting their needs or if they need further information, he said.

Birch expects the information gathering to wrap up in the next week or so and then a city committee will look at the responses and perhaps issue a request for proposals as early as next month.

He said the goal is to finish the new site by the end of the year or beginning of next year.

For more information, please go to

Just Posted

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: B.C. missing out on ship-building industry

B.C. now losing out on the economic benefit of building ferries, says letter writer

Highland dancer wins North American junior title

Annalise Lam leads Brigadoon Dance Academy contingent in U.S. competition

On Remembrance Day, community pledges never to forget

Images from Remembrance Day ceremonies in Lantzville on Monday, Nov. 11

VIU graphic design students propose less wasteful packaging in new exhibition

‘Unwrapped’ show is on display at the school’s View Gallery until Dec. 1

Cadets begin 24-hour honour guard at Nanaimo cenotaph

Remembrance Day ceremony to be held Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. at Dallas Square

On Remembrance Day, community pledges never to forget

Images from Remembrance Day ceremonies in Lantzville on Monday, Nov. 11

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Dozens of planes went down on Vancouver Island training for war

Exhibit at Vancouver Island Military Museum depicts dangers of flying B.C. coast during war years

Man seriously injured after shock and fall from electrical tower in Nanaimo

20-year-old was being transported to hospital in Victoria

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Most Read