Puyallup: News

City of Puyallup’s new website personalizes user experience

The website for the city of Puyallup has a new design and new features meant for easier user access.

Brenda Arline, the city’s public affairs officer, helped put together the website that went live at the end of July.

“The largest changes are in appearance and in functionality and ease of use,” Arline said. “People will be able to find what they’re looking for much faster and easier.”

The website’s homepage greets the user with pictures of the people and places in Puyallup, accented with yellow flowers toward the bottom of the screen that can direct users to what they’re looking for.

“I think people will really appreciate (the change),” Arline said. “It will be more personalized. People can sign up to receive notices.”

For example, if users are interested in library events, they can sign up for emails related to that subject.

Another new feature is the Puyallup police header page — something the department didn’t have before. Here, users can browse divisions, services and programs relating to the police department.

Changing the website was about utilizing new technology that not only keeps web content up-to-date, but provides even more information users can access.

While the new website is live, the old website is still accessible as the team continues to improve the new one, which uses CivicPlus as its web designer.

“CivicPlus is very experienced in government websites,” Arline said. “They do municipal government websites all over the country.”

Snohomish is one of the counties that uses CivicPlus.

The city team that worked on the new website considered its possible designers very carefully, Arline said. The process was long, but team members are pleased with the outcome.

Jill McNally, the project manager for the team who works in IT, was part of the initial quest for finding the website provider with the right qualifications.

The team started the search for a website designer by picking users from different departments in Puyallup, including staff from the library, police department and the recreation center.

“We got a meeting together of people who used the site and talked about what was important and what we were looking for,” McNally said.

After consulting with one another, the team evaluated different possible vendors before deciding.

The Puyallup School District has been following in the same vein as the city. It has a new website up, too, also meant to be more user-friendly.

“It was interesting to see what new technology was available to us,” said McNally, “and to see what was possible.”

The website team hasn’t had the chance to advertise the new website very much yet, and hasn’t heard much feedback from residents.

“People are becoming gradually aware of it,” said Arline.

The website team presented the changes to the City Council on Tuesday. Visit the website at cityofpuyallup.org.

Allison Needles: 253-256-7043, @herald_allison