Northern Virginia’s Arlington County is a vibrant, dynamic community. Major corporations, several government agencies and departments, top level academic institutions, and a high level of quality of life have made it one of the best places to live and work in the United States.
In order to better communicate with its citizens and meet their demands for efficient governance, Arlington County commissioned Materiell with the task of redesigning its web presence and creating a custom WordPress theme with different layout options.
A Flexible, Powerful, and Efficient Solution
Based on a design provided by the Arlington County government, Materiell went to work on the development and implementation of the new sites. After four months of developing, iterating, and testing, Materiell delivered a WordPress multisite installation with a responsive design and a uniform look and feel. All the templates, posts, and pages include the county’s logo and a combination of blue and orange accents provide a uniform visual identity throughout the site.
The new theme allows the county government to create new subdomain sites at will, with a wide variety of layout options and a minimal design that conveys efficiency and a commitment to quality in public service.
The county has divided its content into thirty subdomain sites for different government and service areas. Most of the sites share the same theme and layout, thus providing Arlington citizens with a uniform, consistent experience when visiting their county government site. Navigation menus and submenus are easy to access and quickly guide users to the main topics of interest for the sites. Main content areas include slideshows and latest news sections, as well as integration with social media via Twitter.
Different Layouts for Different Needs
Not all agencies and service areas require the same layouts. Agencies such as Parks & Recreation, the Fire Department, and the Water & Utilities Authority need to update their content constantly in order to keep their users up to date with campaign and important news. In order to achieve this, they have the option of using a full website layout, complete with slideshows and latest news posts.
Service areas such as Departments, Offices & Elected Officials and Health need to provide users with links to specific information, documents or forms. The new website theme allows for different types of layout based on the needs of each agency or service area.
In addition to providing a variety of layout options for Arlington’s different agencies, the site also includes a Spanish section with links to pages and documents of key importance for the Spanish speaking community in Arlington.
Efficient Content Management for the Public Sector
As it is often stated, one of the main features of WordPress is its ease of use, but this goes beyond the fact that non-technical users can update and manage content easily.
For large organizations such as Arlington County, this means the ability to deliver their content quickly – a key factor when communicating critical issues to the community. It also means that the focus of the different communications departments can be on content creation. Content management becomes a routine task, as simple as editing a Word document.
Eliminating the need for specialized skills in web content management is key for large organizations such as the Arlington County government. It allows IT specialists to concentrate on the areas where they are needed, while communications and programs staff can manage their own websites. In short, WordPress can be a powerful tool for government efficiency.
Materiell can work with your organization to produce high-quality, polished solutions for your digital content management needs. With our extensive expertise in WordPress, user experience and interface, and site architecture, we can guide organizations of all sizes in the process of conceiving, developing, and implementing websites that achieve a perfect balance of usability, design, content availability and services.