Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A "Tammy" for Richardson

The City of Richardson proudly announced that "Richardson’s newly re-designed website has earned the top award from the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers (TAMIO) for website design in a community with a population less than 100,000."

Kudos to the City of Richardson. After the jump, a few minor caveats.

As of Tuesday morning, TAMIO's own website still was listing the 2011 winners. Not only was there no sign of the 2012 winners, but there was no accompanying explanation for even the 2011 awards. No criteria for how the winners were chosen. No hint of how many nominees there were. No list of who did the judging. Even the City's own press release reads like a rehash of the City's press release when the website went live a few months ago. There's no statement by TAMIO itself. None of that can be a good sign when you want to brag about receiving an award from this group for website design.

A few weeks ago, I did my own assessment of Richardson's website redesign. I had a few nits to pick. Let's check up on whether my concerns were addressed.

I kvetched that to find city council meeting handouts, you couldn't find them through the menu for "City Council." Instead, you had to go to the menu "Boards, Commissions, & Meetings." That has now been fixed. Score one for the website administrators.

I also groused that handouts beyond a certain age were no longer available online. You hit a brick wall trying to go back before January 23, 2012. Everything before that was "unavailable." Well, there are now four more weeks of handouts available. Handouts before that are no longer listed as "unavailable." They are now listed as "handouts" in plain text, not as hyperlinks. Meaning that the handouts are still unavailable; they are just not described as such. The website may be more accessible to mobile users, but as long as there is less content available than before, it's a case of one step forward, two steps backward. No awards for that.

In another blog post, I complained about how the City's health department restaurant scores are not integrated with its revamped site, "Dine Smart, Dine Local." Now you can find out everything about a restaurant in one place, except what the Richardson Health Department thinks of it.

Luckily for the City, TAMIO didn't ask me for my opinion of the City's website redesign. And so the City has a new trophy to go along with its new website. I trust we can count on them not resting on their laurels.

1 comment:

Nathan Morgan said...

Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers looks to me like yet another attempt to establish an organization of people who give each other esoteric awards. Should be no surprise to find Richardson's Director of Communications serving as a corporate officer on the Board of Directors. Wonders never cease.