We’re building a new website where you can get things done quickly and easily.
A New Website for Baltimore County
The Baltimore County Government (BCG) website receives more than 6 million visits and 15 million pageviews annually. As more and more services have moved online, for most constituents, the web has become their first and only interaction with their government.
Despite this, the BCG website hasn’t been fully overhauled in quite a while. Common complaints are that the website is difficult to navigate and content is hard to find, that the site feels outdated, and that there’s far too much text for average users to parse.
All of these complaints are valid. And while some issues are inherent to a complex government operation, Web Services in the Office of Information Technology has identified a number of key enhancements that will dramatically improve the performance, utility and constituent satisfaction with the website.
Simplify Web Content
Every piece of content will be reviewed and reorganized. Content should be service-oriented, prioritized by user need and organized in the way users expect.
Overhaul the Navigation
Given our diverse content and user needs, there is no single “right way” for a user to reach and interact with our site. Therefore, the navigation must be flexible to allow users to find content easily by topic, by type, by department, and from multiple entry points.
Favor interaction over narrative content. While long passages of content are sometimes required, primary tasks throughout the site should be easily findable and actionable. A modern, icon-based design with large, clean typography will provide a more app-like experience for users. Interactive page elements like buttons, accordions, step-by-step lists, and simple decision trees should allow users to find where they need to go.
Surface Services that are Critical to Our New Vision
Open data, transparency, and even countywide 311 are now significant for Baltimore County business and are now being prioritized.
Native support for mobile devices, user-centered design, and full compliance with WCAG accessibility standards are core concepts in modern web design. We embrace and champion these standards, with no exceptions.
As you can see, this redesign isn't complete. As you navigate through the site you'll notice going between the existing design and the new design. This is on purpose. With the user in mind, we launched the redesign as a Beta and included only the top services so we can survey users on how easy it is for them to complete their tasks with the new changes.
We are implementing surveys, online and in person testing and will see where we can improve before moving all of the site into the new design. This "watch" period will last for several months. We'll then evaluate all feedback, make any necessary changes to improve the design and then work with all departments in moving their useful content. We expect this process to be complete by August 2022.
We Want Your Feedback
Tell us what you think of our new design.