CEDAR FALLS — The city is reinventing its digital presence on mobile devices, tablets and computers.
A “redesigned” application launched this summer. And a more user-friendly website is now set to launch on Thursday.
Expanding and improving its online services and website was one of the topics Cedar Falls City Council spent a lot of time discussing in December when reviewing its goals for the fiscal year 2023.
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Amanda Huisman, the city’s communications specialist, said officials in May began the process of reviewing what could be done to improve its website for the public.
One way to do this is to look at what other cities have offered.
Developer CivicPlus gives the city a free website update every three years, Huisman said. The new application has an additional cost, but this figure was not immediately available.
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The app is free to download and will be easier to find in the App Store as it is no longer branded “CedarFallsOnTheGo” and can be found by entering “Cedar Falls” or “citycf” into the appropriate search.
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Huisman said the app will provide a person with city updates, such as changes to garbage collection. It also has better access to the city’s events calendar.
Once launched, the website will be more user-friendly, as features and tools will be easier to find. The hope is that it will load faster on a mobile device due to the removal of unnecessary features.
Huisman pointed out how the Cedar Falls Rec Center, along with other community spaces, will no longer just offer “informational” pages as part of the city’s website.
Instead, they will make it easier and faster for a person to learn about and enroll in programs.
Emphasis has been placed on the city’s electronic calendar, providing the user with clearer and easier to understand details of meetings and events in the city.
The city is still evaluating how it can improve the browsing experience on the website, she said.
Huisman encourages people to sign up for email notifications to stay up to date on trash pickups, pool schedule changes and other city news.
“Our goal is to communicate openly with our citizens,” Huisman said. “With our future website and continued notifications, we will be able to do just that.”
In January, the board voted 5-2 to adopt a set of goals. One of his goals was to “continue to expand the city’s online services and website to capitalize on the prevalence of smartphones and other mobile devices in our community, while ensuring that those less digitally advantaged can full access to city services.
Pictures: Cedar Falls Volleyball vs. Dubuque Senior, Aug. 23