By Tammy Gray
Navajo County has launched a new website that will make it easier for residents to conduct business with county staff and locate information online.
The new site features easy-to-find forms and direct links to each department. It also now includes a drop-down menu for the most common services provided by the county for users who are unsure which department to contact. A more powerful search feature allows users to search for all links and documents related to a specific search term.
Portions visible to the public are not the only changes made to the county’s website. Assistant County Manager Homero Vela previously explained that the interface for updating the site has been changed to make it simple for each department to update its portion of the site. Instead of all information being routed through the Information Technology (IT) department, staff members or elected officials will be able to change or update information on their own portion of the site.
“With each department in charge of their part of the site, it will be easier to keep everything up to date,” Vela said.
Information on the site is now grouped into the most commonly used categories, such as departments, services, visitors, government, online services and economic development. Social media links are also front and center for residents who wish to keep up with county news on a regular basis. Contact information, addresses and operating hours are prominently displayed at the bottom of the page.
Commonly used links still appear within their individual categories, but also appear in other areas of the site and are cross-linked so that users searching for a specific item have a better chance of finding it quickly. The court calendar, for example, can be accessed through the Superior Court’s department page as well as the legal section of the “Services” tab appearing on the home page.
A “Quick Links” section near the bottom of the page also helps users navigate to the most-sought pages on the site, and includes links to pay property taxes, find inmates housed in the jail and review employment listings.
Newsletters, press releases and events are spotlighted on the new home page, and visitors can quickly sign up to receive newsletter alerts, or jump to the county’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts.
All of the county’s forms that are available electronically are in one place on the site, in the “Services” drop-down menu. Although not all forms can be submitted directly through the site, they can be opened and printed for regular submission, or filled out and sent as an email attachment.
Navajo County Manager Jimmy Jayne noted that launching the site was one of the county’s major goals for improving customer service in 2015.
“We are expecting greater transparency and access,” he said.