Recently, the City of Calabasas, California released a Request for Proposals in an effort to get started with their website redesign project. While the City’s intentions are good, they made no indication of prioritizing a content strategy that would help them to keep pushing out useful, organized information out to the public.
In my report, I took a look at what they currently were serving to the public on their website, their social media profiles, and did a back-end look to see how they were (or weren’t) using SEO and metadata to their advantage.
This process showed me that a dedicated content strategy must be implemented before even starting a large project like a website redesign. Migrating a website’s content without understanding what to do with it is a sign of an unstable relationship with not only the content itself, but with its users.
Although Calabasas has a long way to go when it comes to implementing a content strategy, I can wholeheartedly say that just the redesign alone will help lift up how it is presenting itself. Currently, there is little to no hierarchy on the site and it is desperately needing some bold imagery.
This project has surely shown me that this process needs to get the stakeholders involved. Determining what was important and what wasn’t, was difficult as my perspective is one-dimensional in this case. Here, some external voices would have helped a lot to prioritize and organize all of the massive amounts of information on the website.
Overall, this semester taught me a lot about the nitty-gritty foundations that must be put into play before you can even start thinking about a fresh, new look. The skills I have learned here are so useful and applicable; I look forward to getting to use them at work soon!