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Services Departments Government

Internet "Re-Imagination"

New, responsive web design

Clackamas County has always invested significant resources in its Internet presence. The County’s website is more than just a combination of diverse departments, agencies and services — it is the face of the County. To many of the citizens and businesses of the County, it may be the primary, or only, interface they have with critical County services and information. It is imperative that the County provides efficient, secure, and easy access to services for an ever-increasing range of customers that have come to rely on these services.

Over the years, Clackamas County has deployed numerous in-house and vendor-based applications and databases to provide services from law enforcement to health care and from public records to mapping services. As the website became larger and increasing complex, a concern grew for efficient utilization of resources. It was decided to not only overhaul the entire website but to go beyond just another refresh and to actually develop a truly pioneering and innovative County presence that would be the envy of other agencies.

The initial step was to get control of the content. To accomplish this, Clackamas County implemented a Content Management System (CMS) several years ago to both control content and establish a common platform for County “content providers” to manage their information. This CMS was recently implemented and all content converted to the new system and format.

With the CMS implemented, the real work began to essentially “re-imagine” the entire website — both overall design and service delivery. Clackamas County Technology Services has the capability to develop and implement just about any website, but what was needed was a new overall content strategy that would meld cutting-edge technology with the service needs of the County — something beyond “cool” gimmicks and would instead provide a rewarding service experience for County users. Thus the term “re-imagination” was coined.

To achieve this new content strategy and ensure all current best practices were incorporated a major project was established that incorporated key technical and business staff from the County, County stake holders, County citizens and businesses with the guidance of local contractor WhiteHorse, Inc. A 6-month intensive business and technical analysis followed. This analysis was broad in scope  and involved reviewing the many business and technical requirements of the County, customer interviews (surveys and 1-on-1 interviews), and reviews of industry trends and successful government websites. All aspects of a successful county site were reviewed including content management, overall design, customer requirements and access methods, internet availability in the region, governance, funding, applications, mobility options, language and social barriers, marketing goals and overall County goals — now and into the future. WhiteHorse and our team invested significant resources into determining the most efficient, innovative and service oriented design that could be built and supported the County. Based on these findings, our TS developers have developed the new service architecture and site design for the County website. Key features of the design included that it should be service-based, simple and easy to use for all customers. This meant individual department objectives would be secondary and not distract from the overall customer-first aspect of the design. To enforce this policy, a Web Governance Committee was formed to maintain and evolve the County website and ensure it is an effective County service portal now and into the future.

The Future
With the establishment of a Content Management System (CMS) and new web design, the County’s Internet presence is re-established. At this point the County is migrating the old website to the new design on a department-by-department schedule to minimize disruption of services. However, this is just the beginning. Along with a new Web Governance Committee that is tasked with the ongoing direction of the website, the County is committed to maintaining an increased emphasis to provide even more services. Once the current phase of the new website is completed, there is already a phase 2 planned. This includes enhancements such as location-based mobile services, increased access to public records and information, new permitting and assessment applications, enhanced social media and messaging services and much more. Clackamas County is truly dedicated to producing an Internet experience that is more than just a pretty website, but a new level in customer service and innovation.

Benefits & Services

With the completion of the WhiteHorse-led assessment and new Internet design, we endeavor to have:

Technology

The Clackamas County Internet site is designed to be utilized on all current web browsers and mobile devices. The applications vary with the particular technical requirements. The basic technology deployed is:

Support

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Technology Services
121 Library Court
Oregon City, OR 97045
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(503) 655-8322

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