A New City Website Shaped by User Input

The city is working to redesign its website by better understanding your needs – and the needs of other users – so it can better serve them.

  1. Plan

    2017 - 2018

  2. Design

    2018 - 2020

  3. Build

    2020 - 2021

  4. Complete

    2021

Project Overview

Bouldercolorado.gov is the City of Boulder's most important tool for delivering information and services to the community. The current city website was launched in 2013. The city has been working since 2017 to redesign its website based on user input, research and testing. The City of Boulder launched this beta website in October 2020 to preview the new website.

The beta features a handful of key webpages so community members can experience some of the planned changes and share more input to help ensure the new site best serves the public. The full site will launch in 2021.

Community members are encouraged to provide feedback on the beta on the city’s online engagement platform, Be Heard Boulder, and/or feedback forms on the beta website itself.

Project Improvements

The current city website was designed based on the structure of city departments, which is not intuitive for most users. The new city website is designed to be:

  • user-centered and service-driven;
  • intuitive and easy to use;
  • more efficient for staff to update;
  • modern and visually engaging; and
  • built on user research and iteratively improved based on user research.

The new city website will include new features, functionalities and content identified by user input. A few examples include:

  • a user-centered approach to organizing information in a clear and consistent way by services, projects and news;
  • the ability to filter, sort and search popular content, like services, trails and parks​;
  • improved alerts to ensure users don't miss timely or important updates;
  • accessible content with prominent automated translations​ and priority content professionally translated into Spanish, the most common language spoken in Boulder after English; 
  • an improved calendar, including ability for users to add an event or event series to personal calendars; and
  • a mobile-first, fast-loading design that works on any device.
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Public feedback on website

Collecting feedback from the public on the city website at a pop-up event on Pearl Street in 2018.

Project Background

Whether it's print, TV or digital communication, nearly all of the city's communication efforts point back to bouldercolorado.gov for more information. The City of Boulder website receives approximately 1.5 million visitors and 7 million pageviews a year on average.

The city worked with a consultant from May to October 2018 to study user experience on the current city website and to develop a plan to make the website easier for the public to navigate. The city used the research findings and recommendations to make iterative improvements to the current website and develop plans for a new website.

Research indicated that the city website can most benefit from:

  • improvements to the way the city organizes and categorizes web content, so information is easier and more intuitive to find;
  • improvements to city website search effectiveness and functionality; and
  • improvements to content management so information is more consistent, up-to-date and user-focused.

For more information, see this 2018 update via a City Council information Packet item. The user research work helped shape the design and development of this beta website.

Slideshow: City Website Through the Years