Tuesday, February 23, 2010

UPDATED: New City Government Web Design Lowers City Council Profile

[UPDATE 1 : The city's now changed its website since this blog post -- and I have some new information. I've added my e-mail exchange with Mayor Ravenstahl's Press Secretary Joanna Doven to the end of this post. A hat tip to Tim McNulty of the PG's Early Returns, who spotted the website change as of 11:15 AM.]

The "Emergency Information Page" on the City of Pittsburgh's website is apparently a sneak preview of a site re-design in the works -- one that literally takes City Council down a notch.

You can compare the before and after looks at these links.

Blogger-on-hiatus Bram Reichbaum and Pittsburgh Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak were discussing it recently via Twitter.

In the old website design, the link to City Council appears immediately to the right of the link to the mayor. (You can click on any of this images to enlarge them.)

The new design replaces the "Council" link with a generic "Government" link.

The link to City Council only appears if you hover your cursor over the word "Government".

Curiously, the link to the mayor's office appears both immediately after the home page link and as the first link under "Government", above City Council -- a sort of first among equals.

UPDATE 2 : Here's my e-mail exchange with Mayor Ravenstahl's Press Secretary Joanna Doven since my original blog post. At some point during this e-mail exchange the city restored City Council to the new website masthead. The Howard Stern mentioned in the cc: heading is the the city's Director of Information Systems.

-----Original Message-----
From: Mayo, Bob
Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 2010 10:27 AM
To: Stern, Howard; Doven, Joanna
Subject: City website changes

...Is this arrangement final? What went into the decision to drop City
Council down in the web link hierarchy?

Bob Mayo

----- Original Message -----
From: Doven, Joanna
To: Mayo, Bob E
Cc: Stern, Howard
Sent: Tue Feb 23 10:31:07 2010
Subject: RE: City website changes
I will consult with our web designer on this "concern" I assume council has. If Council has a concern, they may also consult with him. Nothing has been brought to our office's attention regarding arrangement yet.
The redesign is still in its infancy stage.



-----Original Message-----
From: Mayo, Bob
Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 2010 11:47 AM
To: Doven, Joanna
Cc: Stern, Howard
Subject: Re: City website changes
No one from council pointed it out to me or expressed a concern. I noticed the change and am asking questions based on observation. Was the web designer instructed to make that change or did he/she do it without guidance? Was it done in house or contracted out?


----- Original Message -----
From: Doven, Joanna
To: Mayo, Bob
Sent: Tue Feb 23 11:55:16 2010
Subject: RE: City website changes
In-house. No instruction from this office.

According to web designer...

The idea for Government was to have a page that describes city government (the elected bodies) to citizens. This page was an exploration of the concept:

The drop-downs were a more recent addition in the latest design, allowing us to have links to all of the most prominent resources.

Here's an image from the updated city website.



EdHeath said...

Actually it appears the site has changed again, and now has City Council on the top menu.

If I were you, I would take all the credit.

Anonymous said...

Who cares? Isn't this being a little hypersensitive?

Mark Rauterkus said...

Where is the pointer to the Motznik blog now?

Anonymous said...

Similarly, why does Public Safety have its own drop down menu? Isn't it a Department?

Anonymous said...

I love Doven's snippy assumption that someone on council has a "concern". Typical yinzer attitude: "Somebody's doin' it to us again!" Very unprofessional.