Monday, December 17, 2012

Citizens drive mobile and digital growth at The City of Calgary

In 2012, more than 50 per cent of Calgary citizens used their mobile devices to access the internet. Calgarians increasing use of smart mobile devices drives The City’s focus on mobile friendly technology.

To date, The City of Calgary’s five mobile applications have been downloaded more than 65,000 times.

As well, in October 2012, over 179,000 or 20 per cent of visits to came from a mobile device, compared to 54,000 or nine per cent of visits in October 2011. Of those mobile devices, close to 59,000 visits to came from a tablet device in October 2012—four times more than the visits via tablet devices in October 2011.

“Improvements in our digital services are essential to achieving our goal of providing efficient and effective customer service for citizens and business users,” says Acting Director, Customer Service & Communications, Jacob George.

Just over one year since the launch of the new website, The City has received six awards, including “Project of the Year” and “Excellence in Public Service Delivery.”

“For an organization of more than 15,000 employees servicing a city of 1.3 million citizens, the project was a technically enormous undertaking,” says Chief Information Technology Officer, Doug Hodgson. “Our site is the first public-facing integration of SharePoint technology and Google Search.”

When The City launched the revamped, it was a new concept, especially for government. We went from a site that was designed around our organizational structure, making it difficult for the public to navigate, to one that provides the user with a large Google search bar in the middle of the page.

“A lot of thanks are due to the twenty core teams and more than 100 additional employees collaborating across the organization for almost two years to launch the search-based site,” says director, Infrastructure & Information Services, Bruce Cullen.

We did our research. Calgarians wanted a website where they could find information quickly, access services and connect with The City online—we delivered and citizen satisfaction feedback has been positive.

Designed with citizens in mind, enables better access, easier navigation and a user-friendly interface for both desktop and mobile platforms. It was also the first search-based government site in Canada when it launched on Aug. 15, 2011.

The improved mobile experience of has attracted considerable interest.  In fact, other government organizations are paying attention, asking questions and looking at the model we are using.
At today’s regular meeting of Council, Mayor Nenshi shared with aldermen a number of awards that The City of Calgary has received this past year. The City received six awards for, and four others for our digital presence:

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