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City of Seattle

October 13, 11:11 AM click here to comment > 1

New look for Seattle.Gov

Since Mayor Mike McGinn took office earlier this year, the city of Seattle has rolled out several new online features:

  • Data.Seattle.Gov, a web site to publish information about operations and infrastructure, such as locations of city facilities, crime data and food banks;
  • Recovery.Seattle.Gov, a web site to show how the city is using money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in seven investment areas;
  • GrowSeattle.Com, an easily navigable, comprehensive online resource to help new and existing Seattle businesses access all business services and programs offered by the City;
  • Crime Map, an interactive map of police reports taken by officers when responding to incidents around the city;

The redesigned Seattle.Gov builds on this effort:

  • Streamlining the interface to five portals, instead of nine;
  • Improving access to information based on feedback from the first Seattle.Gov usability study ever done;
  • An increased social media presence;
  • More direct access to the most used city web pages.

The focus of the redesign was to simplify access to city services online. The City web site includes more than 150,000 pages, the top 700 of which are linked to five main portals: Business in Seattle, Living in Seattle, Visiting Seattle, City Services, and City Departments. There are now 23 percent fewer links on the homepage – down 24 from 106.

“I’ve heard from people around the city that we needed to improve how our government offered information and services online,” said McGinn. “The redesigned web site supports our efforts to make city government more accessible and transparent. I am pleased that we were able to rely on the hard work of city staff in the Department of Information Technology to move closer to this goal.”

Seattle.Gov is visited by more than one million users every month, and has content in more than 30 languages.

“The re-designed is the first of several new features coming to Seattle.Gov that enhances access to customer service and city information,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, Chair of the Energy, Technology and Civil Rights Committee. “In 2009 I announced my top ten technology initiatives for 2010, and the re-designed is critical to fulfilling those initiatives.”

Knowledge as Power ran the usability study of Seattle.Gov for less than $1,000. The Mayor’s Office and the Department of Information Technology each donated $250 for the study,, a local company with discounted gift certificates to local businesses, donated $500 in credit to their site, funding gratuities for usability participants. Knowledge is Power chipped in $250 of its own funds, usability researcher Dustin Hodge generously volunteered his time, and public meeting spaces were used for the study.

An image of the old site is attached to this release, along with an image from the usability study displaying the most used links for city services.

Additions to the City’s online presence are coming soon:

  • My.Seattle.Gov will allow users to create and customize their own homepage from a selection of “gadgets”. Examples include: News Feeds, Seattle Channel videos, Crime Stats, SPU trash collection days;
  • Seattle Speaks, a new tool where constituents and City officials can discuss issues in an open and online forum;
  • Ask.Seattle.Gov, a new site for Seattle residents to directly engage decision-makers in city government.
  • Registration for a service that will eventually allow City customers to use only one username and password to access all of the online City services they use.


Seattle Channel Video can be played in Flash Player 9 and up
To watch past Mayor videos please visit the Seattle Channel website

Posted by: Aaron Pickus, Spokesperson


Comment from Sarah
Time November 2, 2010 at 11:03 am

Sounds like a solid new structure and look! Keep up the good work.