by Elsie Walker
Since February 11th, visitors have seen something new at www.hanovertownship.com A new website has been created that is user-friendly, easy to navigate, and offers residents access to more information, such as with a few clicks of a mouse, the ability to get forms they might have had to previously go to the township office to get. Feedback from surveys completed by township residents gave input to the creation of the new website. Hanover Park Township’s Project Coordinator/Webmaster is Shelby Snow.
Snow shared that a new website has been a desire of the township for a few years. The former website was severely outdated. It was not considered user-friendly, nor was it formatted for mobile use.
“With the way things are trending now towards phones replacing desktop computers and laptops, the old site was just not acceptable anymore. The new website optimizes for phones with a mobile-specific layout and allows us to communicate more information to our residents than we could before,” Snow said. In addition to saving residents a trip to the township offices by making forms available online, the hope is that the new website content will make township processes easier for everyone, thereby cutting down on the need for phone calls and walk-ins to the township. “This will especially help those doing business with or within the Township – contractors, developers, etc. who may not be local,” said Snow.
Resident input for the site was received through surveys done by the Economic Development Advisory Committee. Snow noted that this committee is comprised of resident volunteers of different demographics who gave their own input and guidance throughout the website creation process as well. “The surveys inquired about several different aspects regarding the design and content of the new website. Many changes were made to the final products based on this feedback. The surveys indicated that residents wanted the new website to look nice, make it easier to access information and to offer more communication opportunities from the town,” said Snow.
Besides those previously mentioned, what are some other features of the site? “Residents can subscribe to a variety of channels to get notifications when new information is added to the website. This function is called ‘Notify Me’,” said Snow. She noted that currently these notifications are alerts, meeting agendas/minutes, and the calendars. Job listings and more are soon to come. “Another important feature is the ‘Smart Search’ bar. When a user begins to type, it auto-populates with options from the website to make it easier for the user to find what he or she is looking for. For example, if a contractor was looking for a specific permit form and was unsure which department page it would be on, since all municipalities are different, he or she could start typing the name of the form in the search bar and find it instantly, instead of clicking around to various pages,” explained Snow.
The township is interested in what residents think of the new website, and the option to complete a survey form is on the site until March 11th.
“All of the township departments worked together to make this website the best it could be for our residents. There is more content than before and it has all been freshly updated. We hope that it will become a valuable resource for Hanover[township] residents,” noted Snow.