Smart City Website

After living in 9 different cities in 4 different countries, I returned back to India last year. To the city of Belgaum in Karnataka, the city where I was born. The Government of India had chosen 20 cities initially under the Smart City development proposal and Belgaum was one among them. There are 100 cities in India now identified for development as Smart Cities. After spending the past 10 years in US, a lot of people often ask me the question “How do you find it here in Belgaum?” That answer will take one whole post. But my one line answer usually is, “I like it here, after all I live in a Smart City”. On hearing the two words – Smart City, most of them start complaining about the different city issues. When I faced my own challenges finding information about the city online, I decided to do something about it. That was when the idea of building a website dedicated to the city came about.

After researching the top 10 Smart Cities all over the world, I realized that every city had one website dedicated to the city information and another one with government information.

SmartCitiesTop10

In India, certain cities have websites but the coverage was minimal, had broken links or in certain cases, was completely absent.

A Single Pane of Glass
The need for a city based website that catered to all information within the city was a no brainer and I decided that it would be the foundation to build more value added services.

The following basic best practices have gone into the design of the website:

Easy Navigation
Information that can be easily found is a key to any successful site. Hence a lot of thought has gone into the design of the navigation and arrangement of content. Aim is to keep the website clean, simple and organized.

Accuracy
Keeping the information up to date, checking for broken links via validators. Ensuring that there are no spelling and grammatical mistakes by rigorous editing.

Simplification
Instead of using unrelated images, gifs, animation or gimmicks, the focus has been only on content that caters to the need of the user. While everyone likes pretty websites, the focus of this website is information driven.

Website Design Priorities

The data from the survey by Hubspot, as shown in the image above shows that visitors value easy to find information more than beautiful design or fancy UX.
Reference: https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/14953/what-do-76-of-consumers-want-from-your-website-new-data.aspx

Call to action
When we provide a user some information, we also try to provide them means to take action with that information as well. For example, booking a hotel, a movie ticket or a travel ticket etc

Performance
We have tried to make page load times more effective by optimizing, minifying and compressing assets, styles and javascript libraries.

Mobile Friendly
We have designed a website with Responsive layout that will be available for multiple screen sizes like Mobiles, Tablets etc

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