Regina, Are You Ready For A New Look?
I was scooting around the interwebs the other day, as I like to do, and had a peek at some local sites to see how Regina is faring in web design.
Turns out, rather like any other city, it’s a little of the new mixed with a little of the 1990s. The City of Regina web design, for example, appears to be circa 1996, and modelled after the original Yahoo. Blue links, long side navigation and all the content trapped in a very boxy box in the centre of the page.
I’m not one for redesigning for the sake of it, and there’s really no reason for a city website to be all flash and dash, but there might be some fundamental reasons for the City for Regina to ramp up their web design just a smidge.
So have a look see and let’s go over some reasons why the City of Regina web design should be on their agenda.
Putting Your Best Foot Forward
The City of Saskatoon recently had their website revamped to a more modern, crisp and user friendly design.
The City of Calgary web design focuses on ease of use, with a large search box and clear, short navigation.
The City of Edmonton’s web design looks like an overstuffed closet, but does appear to have had a developer’s or designer’s help at least in the last 10 years.
The City of Winnipeg shows Regina web design in a new light - but that’s not a good thing. We get there’s a lot of stuff people want to know, but how do you find it on there?
Barring Winnipeg, then, Regina’s neighbouring prairie cities have taken a fair crack at dragging their large, unwieldy institutional websites into at least the not too distant past.
That’s actually important - not just from a user standpoint. That Regina’s web design now looks like a high school HTML practice project means that investors, visitors and potential residents are a little less likely to believe Regina is a great place to spend their time and money.
If Regina went ahead and revamped even the design skin of their home page, what might that do for their image? A clean, user-friendly, deliberate layout and design could do a lot for how Regina is perceived, locally and from afar.
Promoting Local Business & Public Engagement
A web design project for a whole city is not a small task! There is a lot that goes into a rebrand, and can include redesigning and reprinting other marketing materials as well.
What a great way to highlight the talents of a Regina web designer! Too often local organizations cast an international net to snare a marketing and design company that looks flashy on screen or paper, and forget that Saskatchewan has some wonderful, talented creative businesses.
The City of Regina could also use a web design project to engage the public in civic affairs. Let armchair designers have the opportunity to get in their 2 cents, and maybe learn something about their city at the same time.
Rather than looking at it as an expense, this could be seen as a smart investment in Regina’s creative community and civic engagement.
Everything is Online and that ain’t Gonna Change
Back in the 90s, websites were just becoming popular - traditional advertising and marketing still ruled the day. Having a website was a neat investment, showed that you were with or even ahead of the times, and was a simple task of putting up some HTML and a few blue links.
Today, the internet is everything and everywhere, and it’s only going to continue to proliferate. Investing in a website that can grow and improve over time is the smart money. So much changed at the outset of the web revolution that it seemed nearly impossible to keep up to date with a website. We now have a much better understanding of how people use the internet, how it makes their lives easier, and how we can organize information to maximize usefulness.
That means that organizations like Regina can now take advantage of a large bank of best practices developed over the years to put together a site that is user friendly, can grow and change more simply, and has the data to back up where things are working, and where things need to change.
With that much more information at hand, now is the time to create a site that takes advantage of web psychology and big data to last into the future.
An expert for Regina web design is worth the investment of time and money, especially when you can use it to generate new interest AND make user’s lives a bit easier.
So Regina, are you ready for a new look?