The city launched a new and improved website on May 20 that officials say makes it easier for visitors to navigate and access information.
The updated site, longbeachny.gov, has an array of features and a new homepage featuring vibrant photos taken by Long Beach locals.
Designed by GovOffice, a company that specializes in creating websites for local governments, officials said that the website has improved aesthetics and accessibility for people of all ages.
City Council President Anthony Eramo said the website was in need of an overhaul.
“The city has not made a significant update to its website in a decade,” Eramo said in a news release. “Technology has changed so dramatically since then, and we felt that this facelift was long overdue.”
Although residents and visitors can still access items from the former site — such as city updates, event listings and City Council meeting agendas — the information has become more streamlined.
Drop-down menus and scrollable icons allow for anyone with an Internet connection to easily use the site’s new interface, officials said. Employment, forms, permit applications, bus and trolley schedules, online bill pay, public notices and more are just a few of the icons on the site’s homepage.
The city said it carried out preliminary trials two months prior to the site’s launch, with the goal of testing its accessibility and to gather feedback from Long Beach residents. Of those selected for the trial were Long Beach High School students and senior citizens.
City spokesman Gordon Tepper said that the disparate age groups were chosen in order to ensure easier access for everyone, regardless of their level of experience with technology.
“We want to make sure all users can find their way through our website — we want to simplify things,” Tepper said. “Certainly, a young person who’s grown up with technology will see things differently than a person who remembers life without websites.”
Tepper said that the City Council pushed for the overhaul of the site. The city’s staff worked with GovOffice for several months to create the website, he added, which cost $12,000.
Tepper said additional updates to the site would be made before the start of Long Beach’s busy summer season. He called the new site a work-in-progress, and said design elements would be adjusted.
“The idea is we have to go through these first couple of weeks as we head into summer and make sure the kinks are ironed out,” Tepper said.
City Council Vice President Chumi Diamond said the objective of the new site was to provide better accessibility to users.
“In addition to vastly improved esthetics, improving functionality was a top priority,” Diamond said in a news release. “It is imperative that our residents and visitors are able to easily access the information they need, and this website helps better facilitate that process. To that end, we worked with students from Long Beach High School and some of our local seniors to ensure that we had both an appealing design and user-friendly interface.”