New Village of Oak Park website launched

New focus on customer-friendly online services

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By Anna Lothson

Staff Reporter

It's been a longtime coming for the Village of Oak Park to launch its new website, but Thursday morning the roughly $70,000 project made its debut.

A contract with Breakthrough Technologies was approved by the village board a year ago to tackle the site that hadn't been upgraded since 2001. Village spokesman David Powers said the site, which cost just over $67,000, served its purpose but couldn't meet the village's current or future demands.

A quick view of www.Oak-Park.us and any user can see dramatic change.

Fewer clicks are required to view the village's most popular links. On the homepage, users can find "online services," "village services," "your government", "our community," and "quick links." These lead to the most click-heavy pages about the farmer's market, block parties, jobs, parking, public records and more.

The homepage also updates itself regularly with fresh content. The majority of the site's visuals are dedicated to a running calendar of what's happening in town and other village news stories.

For those needing to pay a water bill, obtain a building permit, pay or contest a parking ticket, request documents, or just report a complaint, there's now an easier way to do so without navigating through various departments. The services can be accessed online from a computer, tablet or smart phone. The site also has links and a live feed from the village's Twitter accounts.

"It's going to allow staff to get involved and take responsibility in portions of the site," Powers said in a presentation about the project last year. "It's just going to make everything run a lot better."

While the old site was geared more toward departments as opposed to specific services, the new site is more user-friendly and focuses on services residents are seeking. The open-source website can be altered to make it as complex or simple as possible, designed with similar technologies to a smart phone. This web architecture also allows the site to be easily upgraded, unlike the previous village website, Powers said.

Contact:
Email: anna@oakpark.com Twitter: @AnnaLothson

Reader Comments

7 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

Jeff Schroeder from Oak Park  

Posted: July 20th, 2013 1:13 PM

JS aggregation? I am not sure what that means but I hope that doesn't mean I am going to get aggregated personally.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: July 19th, 2013 10:58 PM

Okay...I started to guess, and typed in oak-park.us/agendas, and it forwarded it to the Agenda & Minutes page and I'm able to see Monday's Board Meeting Agenda. I see the problem. On a mobile device (I was using an iPad and an Android phone) you have to use the links at the bottom of the home page, because the pull-downs at the top don't work on mobile devices. And the link to the agendas isn't correct when using the bottom link of Your Government. I'm sure they'll work out all the kinks...

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: July 19th, 2013 10:34 PM

Wondering were the agenda for Monday's meeting is housed. This link from the main page, under "Your Government" and then Board Agendas & Minutes brings back a Page Not Found message.http://www.oak-park.us/village-board-agendas-minutes

It's a Start from Oak Park  

Posted: July 19th, 2013 5:52 PM

Hooray for moving to the open source Drupal platform. But there are a number of Oak Park Drupal developers who would not only have been excited to bid on the project, but would have avoided basic Drupal noob errors like forgetting to turn on CSS & JS Aggregation and would have used responsive design.

muntz  

Posted: July 19th, 2013 10:30 AM

Congrats! Folks need to understand that software/website design is an iterative process, but as long as you have a scalable and solid foundation, fixes and improvements should be faster to implement. Mobile device integration is key as that's where the market is headed. PS - I did get a 'redirect loop' error on the green awards.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: July 18th, 2013 10:58 PM

Congratulations to the team that created the new Website. The improvement in navigation is a giant step. In the coming days, months and probably years there will be comments, complaints, and clobbering, but for today -- CONGRATULATIONS.

Okay but  

Posted: July 18th, 2013 10:11 PM

https://insight.acquia.com/instant-insight?url=http%3A//www.oak-park.us/ F for performance, C+ overall. Needs a sitemap and turn on CSS optimization and JS aggregation-- basic things for any Drupal production site. It also would've been nice if the site used responsive design (so it is readable on mobile devices). Maybe next time the village can use our tax dollars to hire local talent.

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