Government

Newstrack: Linn County nears launch of new website

BACKGROUND

CEDAR RAPIDS — Linn County officials earlier this year reached out to the public for input on plans for a new county website.

Participants answered a 10-question survey on user experience with the county’s site. The goal was to create a more user-friendly experience for visitors to linncounty.org, which saw more than 500,000 visits last year.

The website redesign is part of the county’s efforts to improve customer satisfaction with Linn County departments and functions.

The program, launched in 2016, involves providing customer-focused training to all county employees, finding ways to streamline services and implementing procedures aimed at making the customers’ experiences better.

Aside from the procedural changes, county officials have been taking part in a training program, called C3, or Customer Centered Culture, aimed at developing all employees — from supervisors to department heads to clerks — into stronger leaders better able to deal with issues facing customers.

For the website redesign, survey responses were accepted until the end of February.

WHAT’S HAPPENED SINCE

Joi Alexander, Linn County communications director, said a redesign of the county website is in progress and the county now is seeking volunteer participants for user testing, set to begin in January, to help put the final touches on the site.

Eight people are needed for a one-hour, in-person, one-on-one session with a moderator — the sessions will take place between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Jan. 16 and 17. In addition, up to 40 people will be needed for a 30-minute remote user test. Participants will need a computer with internet access and will have 48 hours to complete the test. Online tests will take place the week of Jan. 14.

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Those interested can find more at the Linn County website.

“The goal of user testing is to identify problems on the website prototype so we can improve the online experience for our customers and ensure the site is easy to use and allows visitors to complete important tasks from the first day that the site launches,” Alexander said in an email.

Linn County’s new website will launch next year.

• Comments: (319) 398-8309; mitchell.schmidt@thegazette.com

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