Helping Residents Navigate a New Website

This is the Sign You've Been Looking For in neon lights on brick wall
Photo by Austin Chan / Unsplash

As I searched for something to focus on for the Remediation Challenge, I found that my staff was emailing residents 'print screen' images from our City's website and typing out the step-by-step instructions of the clicks necessary to file an online resident concern. This would make the perfect practical application for this challenge. It may seem a bit unnecessary to have a tutorial to navigate a website, but as many times as they have provided this information, it unfortunately seems to be the case.

laptop with image of City website
Opening page of Canva presentation

Planning and the Goal

I planned to create a brief animated presentation, containing material similar to what was being sent out to the residents by my officers. The presentation would have to be short and easy to follow. The target audience is residents who are already unhappy or frustrated and therefore filing a concern or complaint. The City's website contains titles and groupings that are not intuitive for many residents.

For this challenge, I chose the Canva website to create a presentation. I was looking for something that would be user-friendly for a beginner. I looked up a few tutorials on YouTube, including How to Create a Presentation on Canva in 20 Minutes. I would agree that Canva is user-friendly, but creating a presentation in 20 minutes is not one of my superpowers. One feature that is helpful on the Canva platform, is the ability to create a user group that can access and/or edit the information that I shared. This is a great tool for collaboration and keeping the presentation current. I can add my staff to the user group and allow them to tweak it as necessary, or create other 'user guides' to help residents navigate to other hidden gems on the City website.

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Canva presentation of How to enter a concern

Going Digital--A Few Terms

Digital Documents - Offer quick, accessible information; readers scan the material, which may be marked with a lower measure of processing/increased distractions; offer collaboration opportunities; ease of searching, interactive, portable

Traditional/paper Documents - Offer focused and immersive reading; accessible without technology; slow the transmission of information; not as easy to update; more difficult to copy, modify, and distribute

Remediation - Rehabilitate media in a new (digital) way

Future Plans

I have a lot more ideas for traditional content that can be remediated and plan to improve my skills by practicing and watching more tutorials on Canva. Not only will these projects improve the user experience, but creating interactive material will allow my staff to easily send and receive information.

Once I become more skilled at creating user guides or presentations, I'll teach my staff what I've learned, and let them run with some new projects. We have had plans to add a digital library for some of our most asked questions to our pages on the website. All of the updates to our website have to be created by our communications team, so we will likely have to hand off our ideas to be implemented. But if my team can complete some of the documents, perhaps with a template, we may be able to get our digital library in place sooner.

Claire Toledo

Claire Toledo

Claire is a proud manager for local government. She is working to complete her MBPL, and balances work and school with family--husband, 2 independent children, dogs, cats, and chickens.
Defiance, Missouri