published Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Chattanooga website unveiled after redesign


by Cliff Hightower
Screen capture of the new Chattanooga website.
Screen capture of the new Chattanooga website.
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A new Chattanooga website has gone up.

By visiting chattanooga.gov, the public will see a completely new site, said Brian May, president and owner of Maycreate, which the city hired last year for $128,000 to redesign the site.

"That was our mantra," he said. "Let's do something different."

The city administration pushed for a two-phase redesign, but the City Council later approved doing one phase and possibly a second phase later.

The site is visually different and simpler than the old Chattanooga.gov site. The front page holds 30 full-size, rotating photos to showcase the city with options on the bottom, side and top of the page for jumping to other city and department pages.

Facebook and Twitter feeds are prominent at the bottom of the page, May said, and the city also plans to integrate more social media into the site. All news releases from the city now will be posted on Facebook, May said.

Richard Beeland, spokesman for Mayor Ron Littlefield, said the update was badly needed and gives the city the feel of being a "Gig city."

"It puts us where we need to be," he said.

The site also will have an updated search engine from Google, making it easier to search than the old site.

At the top for the name "Chattanooga," the site uses Chatype, a new typeface designed specifically for the city, and more Chatype will show up on the page in the future.

"We're just waiting for a Web version," May said.

The website also will be compatible with the most popular mobile phones and be handicap-friendly, he said.

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