The village of Brookfield is planning to launch a new website on June 19, with officials saying it will provide residents access to more information and a much more customer-friendly user experience.
The village present website, launched in 2008, has come under fire in recent years as being difficult to navigate and for providing far too little information. The website at one time had an event calendar, which was eventually scrapped.
“This has gone on longer than any of us wanted it to, but the goal was to really get a website that was useful for residents and the customers we serve,” said Village Manager Keith Sbiral. “This really puts a face on what we do for residents and how we serve them.”
The new website will be compatible with mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, in addition to a full desktop site, said Sbiral. Most important, said Sbiral, the website will have a content management system that will allow more people to input up-to-date information on village commissions, events and other important matters.
Presently, it’s a chore to upload new information to the website and some important information, once it’s replaced, is simply lost. The new website will be fully searchable, allowing residents to access information they’re seeking easily and quickly.
“It’s fully indexed,” said Sbiral. “So if you want to find out about vehicle sticker prices, got to the search box and type ‘vehicle sticker’ and it’s going to come up.”
There will also be a direct link on the new website to the recreation department’s online registration system and the village will be moving its online payment system in-house and ditching the state of Illinois e-pay system, which has limitations and charges fees.
In addition, the village will look to coordinate the new website with a social media strategy that will include such platforms as Facebook and Twitter as well as the village’s email alert system. About 3,000 residents receive the email blasts the village sends out periodically, typically about important village events, construction projects and emergency alerts.
All Information Services, which has been the village’s information technology consulting firm since the mid-2000s, developed the website. Sbiral announced that the website would be receiving an overhaul in July 2014, with a rollout date in the fall of that year. However, the project was delayed for months.
An economic development portal, touted last year as a key component of a new website, will be rolled out at a later date, Sbiral said. Work on the messaging and content for that portal will be completed during the summer, he added.