Charlevoix Township is a civil township of Charlevoix County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 1,697 at the 2000 census. However, during the summer months this population expands rapidly as Charlevoix is the location of many summer homes of people in the Detroit and Chicago areas.
Charlevoix Township reached out to us to design and develop a new website experience. Their previous website was dated and attracted very little traffic. The mission of this project was to improve the public input with small government-related decisions.
We helped Charlevoix Township improve community reach and connection through a robust online experience.
We designed a simple elegant logo that utilizes both serif and san serif typography. The client requested a logo that would have a long lifespan and could easily be used collateral such as utility bills and tax forms.
“Charlevoix Township’s new logo is classy, approachable, and timeless. It will represent our region well for years to come.”
Municipality websites are almost always boring, lackluster, and cookie cutter. Most of these websites are templates that you will see used over and over for cities and townships. Even high profile municipality websites are often littered with poorly managed content. These sites are usually just a basic navigation tool that directs you to uploaded PDF documents. We took a new unique approach to municipal web design that delivers rich content in a proper web viewing format. Nearly all content on the website has been converted to rich HTML format which does wonders for SEO and a positive user experience.
Municipality websites are often visited by a wide range of age groups. We knew that many of the visitors may not be the most tech-savvy and may struggle with basic website navigation. We had to design a website that was very intuitive and requires no instruction for use. Everything you look for is exactly where you would expect to find it. Additionally, there are large buttons throughout the website to help direct the user’s path. We invite you to take a look and see the difference.
25+ unique page designs ranging from board meeting feeds, to departments, to forms.
ADVANCED SEARCH PLATFORM
Ease of use and navigation is of utmost importance when designing a municipal website. The vast majority of municipal websites are difficult to navigate and it is virtually impossible for a user to find a specific search term. The reason is that most of the content from these sites are in PDF document form which doesn’t allow any of the content within the document to be found in a search.
Our solution to this issue was to convert all the existing and future content to actual html text. This allows searches to scour every document posted on the website and return detailed search results that include any and every word within the document, NOT just the titles of documents. Additionally, html content is far easier for users to read and creates a consistent look and feel throughout the website.
DOCUMENTS & FORMS
An essential feature requested was easy access to documents and forms. The previous website provided limited access to commonly used forms and was difficult to navigate to. Having every form posted on the new site has significantly freed up administrative paperwork and provides easy direction for all types of users.
SPECIAL NOTICE INFORMATION BAR
Charlevoix Township Requested an easy way to notify website visitors of urgent matters such as a waterline break. This information bar enters the screen with an animation effect to grab the attention of visitors. The bar uses different color cues to allow visitors to easily identify the urgency of the matter. Additionally, there is a button that is linked to the detailed description of the matter.
AUTOMATED NEWSLETTER PLATFORM
Charlevoix Township was looking for an improved means of contact with its residents. We offered a solution by the means of a fully automated newsletter platform. This system is fully integrated and managed on the WordPress® CMS. When new content is posted to the website such as the latest Meetings and Minutes, recipients are automatically emailed with a link to the new content. This automated system will track opens, clicks and other important analytical data to see how engaged the community is with the content. These newsletters are beautifully designed HTML emails that result in higher click-through rates.
6 month after launching their re-designed website, Charlevoix Township’s website has seen a 500% increase in website traffic! Additionally, they have seen noticeable improvements in public turnout. The newsletter has had a staggering 60% open rate (national average is less than 15%). Residents now have a reliable means to stay connected with their local government and have their voice be heard.