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Building Innovation is a collection of stories by 90.5 fm WESA reporters about the Pittsburgh region focusing on efficient government operation, infrastructure and transportation, innovative practices, energy and environment and neighborhoods and community.

Redesigned Allegheny Co. Website Aims To Accommodate Mobile Users

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Allegheny County

As mobile devices have become the preferred method of online browsing for many people, more and more websites have had to change to accommodate them. 

That's why this week, Allegheny County launched its redesigned “mobile-friendly” website.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said the county's seen a 38 percent increase in mobile users just this year. And he said the majority of the traffic to the site was for finding quick information such as park activities, job postings and tax records.

“We’re appealing to folks that are tech-savvy,” Fitzgerald said. “This is a tech-savvy place to live and obviously with some of our great universities, that’s well known and with the Googles, and the Apples and the Intels that have located here -- it says to people this is a place where you can do business easier.”

Fitzgerald said the county is investing in its technology infrastructure in the hopes of being more accessible and delivering more up-to-date information about the county and the region.

“In 2014, throughout the entire year, 10 million people viewed the county website,” Fitzgerald said. “In 2015, only two-thirds of the way through the year, already 16 million people have viewed the website.”

The Administrative Services Department of Allegheny County began redesigning the site roughly a year-and-a-half ago with the plan of reducing the amount of text on-page and increasing the size of images to accommodate the transition to mobile devices.

“We’re also not just doing only county government items ... on there. We’re listing things on there that are cultural: cultural events, sporting events and community events,” Fitzgerald said.

During the redesigning process, focus groups, specifically including millennials, were held to assure the website continued to meet the needs of its users.

“We’re certainly an information hub here in this region with some of the IT firms that are locating here and a big part of our economy, we want to certainly match what is going on here in this region,” Fitzgerald said.