DATE: December 3, 2013
MEDIA CONTACT: Rob Nadeau, Broward County
BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Broward County unveiled a new and improved design for their official website, Broward.org, today. The home page and several sites off the main site already boast the updated look and feel, with streamlined content and enhanced branding. The remainder of the website’s more than 30,000 pages of content will be transitioned to the new design over the next several months.
The Broward County website, originally designed for a personal computer, supports the activities of more than 50 County agencies and garners more than 2.8 million page views per month. Today, approximately 20 percent of visitors access the site from a mobile device. In response to this growing trend, the County’s new design provides more direct links to County information, programs and services; fewer images for quicker load times, and a “responsive design” that automatically adjusts to different devices, including smaller mobile and tablet devices, without losing functionality. Regular visitors to the site are encouraged to update their bookmarks.
In a nod to the growing popularity of social media, the home page features a live feed from the County’s new Twitter account, Twitter.com/BrowardCounty, and quick links and subscription opportunities to more than 50 County agency eNewsletters; Facebook, Twitter and You Tube accounts; and mobile apps.
The County’s website manager, Rob Nadeau, said, “Today, mobile devices outnumber the population and more than half the people have a smart phone. A growing number of people use their smart phone to access the web. These individuals are interested in websites with a streamlined, simplified online presence. Thinking 'mobile first' makes our website more user-friendly and responsive to individual needs, regardless of the device.”
“Our Broward.org website is an integral part of our digital government strategy,” said Margaret Stapleton, director of the Office of Public Communications. “The clarity and simplicity of our new website design enhances our digital government presence.”
Features of the new design include:
• A viewer-operated carousel of top news stories and quick links to headlines in the news
• An upgraded Search County Government feature with search-as-you-type functionality, improved mobile device search and a new ability to search County news releases, municipality government websites and recent Twitter postings for related results
• Easy access to popular features such as Find a Service, Find an Agency and Online Services, plus Recommended links to special projects and seasonal topics, such as property tax payment information and new Courthouse construction
• Special interest pages including Things to Do with the week’s top featured events and activities, and Travel Assist with information and links to services provided by Broward County’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Port Everglades, Broward County Transit and other regional transportation partners
• An Open Government site featuring convenient links to information and services that support transparency, ethics and government in-the-sunshine
• A weather widget featuring South Florida’s current weather conditions
• Translation to more than 70 languages through Google Translate, also a responsive design service
The business community will take center stage on the website in 2014, as new Mayor Barbara Sharief announces her focus for the upcoming year: “Broward Means Business.” Throughout the year, Broward.org/business will feature links to educational programs, opportunities for County contracts and mentoring, loan and technical assistance programs that encourage and support the growth of new and existing businesses.
The Broward.org website is managed by the Broward County Office of Public Communications. The mission of the Office of Public Communications is to raise awareness of County government programs and services and their value to the community, by providing information to residents, businesses, visitors and the media through a variety of communications programs, including the County’s official website, news releases and other media relations activities, broadcasting and webcasting of government meetings, the 311 Call Center and public information during activations of the Broward Emergency Operations Center. The Office of Public Communications also manages employee communications and the County Print Shop. For more information, follow us on Twitter.com/BrowardCounty and Twitter.com/ReadyBroward.