Editorial, Mauldin

What a tangled web (site) we wove

Taft Matney

Until recently, the city’s website was clunky. The front page was fine to look at, but more than one person told me that once they got inside the site, it was difficult to find information. There was nothing intuitive about it, and it was difficult to navigate. It wasn’t mobile-friendly. For the city’s website users, these issues presented problems.
Whether you’re on your computer, phone, or tablet, you expect certain things when you visit a website. Primarily, you expect to find the information you’re looking for.
This past May, we finally said that enough was enough. It was time to change the city’s online presence, so we contracted with a local firm to completely revamp our website (CityOfMauldin.org).

In an ideal setting, when you visit a website, nothing should be more than three clicks away. Most studies of web surfing behavior show that after three clicks, site visitors lose interest and go somewhere else.

We don’t want that to happen. Whether we’re serving residents and businesses or trying to recruit residents and businesses, the city should be a resource, and any information you want should be no more than a few clicks away.

When you visit the new CityOfMauldin.org, if it’s been a while since you used it, you’ll immediately notice a difference – both visually and functionally.
The new CityOfMauldin.org is designed to be intuitive and user-friendly.

The site’s front page features direct links to commonly-requested subject pages – including links to the Mauldin Sports Center, Mauldin Recreation youth and adult athletic programs, the Mauldin Cultural Center, the Ray Hopkins Senior Center, trash pickup, requests for proposals (RFPs), the city calendar, contact forms, and employment notices.

Links to service requests, upcoming events, and recent city news are also visible on the front page.

The new CityOfMauldin.org is also much more functional and visible on mobile devices.

You might be like me and really want to get to know the new website and click through every aspect of it, but if you want something specific, please let me give you a pro tip.
On any page, scroll down, and look at the bottom right-hand corner. Under the copyright notice beneath the city logo, you’ll see the “Sitemap” link. Click on that link, and look at the list to find the exact page you’re looking for. Whether you’re looking for utility contact information, business license calculators, business loan programs and incentives, building permits and fee schedules, park and picnic shelter information, details about Mauldin’s history, or anything in between, believe me. The sitemap is your quickest way there.

— Taft Matney serves in Seat 1 on Mauldin city Council. He can be reached at tmatney@mauldincitysc.com.♦

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