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Siskiyou County, Calif., Tackles Website Modernization

Despite the current website being only four years old, efforts to solve accessibility issues prompted a complete redesign.

(TNS) — Representatives from the Siskiyou County website redesign committee spoke to the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors Tuesday about the revamping of the county's website that is in the works.

Website redesign committee member Judy Crawford outlined a number of reasons for the change, noting that the current website is four years old and has accessibility issues that cannot be fixed without a redesign.

The new website will feature an improved, responsive design that is easily accessible from a smartphone and simplified content for effective visitor access. It will also have minimal homepage content and minimal scroll.

The county website redesign committee is comprised of Siskiyou County Administrator Terry Barber and 15 members from various county departments — including District 5 Supervisor Ray Haupt. The committee is guiding the look and feel of the new site, Crawford said.

The new website will be created by Municode, a company that creates custom designs for government websites. Municode's design portfolio includes government sites for McMinnville, Oregon; Kodiak, Alaska; Miami Springs, Florida; and Woodstock, Illinois.

Crawford explained that the new site will be controlled through a content management system which will allow it to still be managed locally by various departmental editors.

The county website's new tagline — "Mountains of Opportunity" — was submitted by Leah Loughlin, an employee with Siskiyou County Child Support Services. Siskiyou County Public Works employee JoAnne Lang submitted the runner-up motto.

A new county logo comprised of an outline of the top of Mt. Shasta inside an outline of Siskiyou County with the words "County of Siskiyou" was designed by the committee as a whole.

A call was put out for photo entries to serve as the website's homepage background. Kim Foster submitted the winning photo, with second and third place photos submitted by Brenda Bigler and Jasen Vela, respectively.

Siskiyou County Public Health employee Ali Stillwell discussed the county's "brand identity," which is essentially how an entity presents itself to, and wants to be perceived by, its consumers – the consumers in this case being the county's residents and visitors.

Stillwell recently spent a day at a conference where the focus was how to rebrand a government agency. She is spearheading the rebranding effort, and noted that each county employee will be a brand/identity advocate. She presented an equation for the county's brand strength: County's reputation times the county's visibility. A good brand, Stillwell said, establishes trust between citizens and the county and encourages people to go to the county for help with various needs.

The redesigned website is slated for completion around January or February of 2019, Crawford said.

©2018 Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, Calif. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.