Dublin Villager

City website designed with mobile devices in mind

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Dublin's new website was designed with mobile devices in mind.

Dublin City Council members last week got a look at the new city website and insight into how it was put together.

Mobile usage was a major factor in website design, said Bruce Edwards, web administrator for the city. In fact, mobile usage will soon surpass that of computers, he said.

In 2011, 25 percent of all visits to the city website were from mobile devices, Edwards said.

Because the prevalence of mobile devices is increasing, Edwards said the city looked at applications and a mobile website when considering a redesign.

"When we designed the new city website it was in responsive mode," Edwards said, adding that if the city had decided upon apps, two would have been built, one for Apple devices and one for Droids. "There would be extra dollars and resources for two different apps."

For the more than 2 million people that visit Dublin's website each year, no matter how they view it, it will be the same.

"We focused on a responsive web design," Edwards said.

"When you pull it up on any device ... it will give you a reformatted version of itself. It's the same with desktop or handheld (devices)."

In doing research, Edwards said that video giant Youtube is also using a responsive website.

"A responsive website is the best way to stay ahead of the curve," he said.

The website will allow residents to access information whenever and where they need it, Edwards said.

"We're engaging audiences where they are," he said, noting residents can report a problem with a bike path on a mobile device rather than waiting until they get home.

Residents can also request chipper services, report maintenance issues and reserve Dublin facilities from mobile devices or computers, Edwards said.

"We can get to residents faster," he said. "We can get to more people with more devices."

The new site is also easier and more accessible to staff.

The website was built using a new platform instead of the usual software and is saved in the cloud where it can be accessed from anywhere.

Edwards said he was recently able to add a suspicious person alert to the city website from a park in Clintonville.

To see the new city website, look online at dublinohiousa.gov.

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