Wake County

Using data to build a more welcoming Wakegov.com, engineered to empower residents today and tomorrow

1.1M

Residents in Wake County

1

Writing for the Web content workshop conducted

60+

Content Editors contributing to Drupal

Special Features:
Drupal 8

Drupal 8

Fulcrum Hosting

Fulcrum Hosting

Advanced Events

Advanced Events

Advanced Search

Advanced Search

Location/Maps

Location/Maps

Sitewide Alerts

Sitewide Alerts

Wake County prides itself on its departments’ everyday focus on delivering information and services in effective and innovative ways. They wanted a website that would reflect that same spirit and house wide-ranging content, from the county’s library system to its parks department, sheriff’s office, and dozens of other county agencies. 

Removing the guesswork to humanize government 

Our project began with Voice of Citizen® and gathering real user feedback and navigation data to eliminate the guesswork as to what was and wasn’t working on the county’s old site. We used these insights to develop priorities and user personas that became the foundation for the project.

With a focus on our users’ specific tasks and goals, we developed a visual design for Wakegov.com that is not just clean and modern but also welcoming and accessible. It’s available to everyone, regardless of disability, and optimized to work across all devices and at all bandwidths. We also collaborated throughout the process to help Wake’s talented content team elevate the site’s content, honing it to answer users’ most pressing questions and clarify important processes.

This project faced an unforeseen twist when, roughly a third of the way through our timeline, the COVID-19 pandemic erupted. Wake County’s team of content focals adapted to the challenge very quickly. As a long-established distributed company, we were able to share are expertise to help guide them as they adjusted to their new remote routines and kept the project moving forward.

The new site is designed to be equally flexible, with features built in to ensure that the county won’t outgrow it anytime soon. With this platform in place, they’ll be able to continue adding innovative ways to engage with their residents and adapting to their evolving county needs without going back to the drawing board. 

Success factors

  • User-centered navigation 
  • High-powered recurring events module to manage complex calendars
  • Dynamic news and events content across the site
  • Location management tools that enable easy search, filtering, and mapping 
  • Clean homepage design that prioritizes important information

Innovation in action: Structured content superpowers

We worked with Wake County to incorporate structured content into their locations and events. This back-end system of tagging enables content to be more easily visible to search engines and enable access via voice-controlled devices like Alexa. In addition, it’s a proactive way to future-proof content for integration with emerging technologies that will help further enhance accessibility and ease of use for public-facing sites.