Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District (District) is excited to celebrate 20 years of serving Placer County. As part of the 20th anniversary celebration, which began on January 1, 2021, the District unveiled a new website which features a commemorative 20th anniversary logo that is proudly displayed on the new homepage.
The new website, which launched in December 2020, is the District’s first step in kicking off the 20th anniversary celebration. It is the product of many months of hard work. Research results, requirements for government websites and 10 years of using the same platform established the need for the District to update and refresh its existing website to be mobile-friendly, ADA compliant and to enhance the look and feel to comply with website design best practices.
The District went through a request for proposal process to secure a website vendor. In early July 2020, after a competitive bidding process, the District decided to work with vendor Tripepi Smith, a Southern California-based firm that has extensive experience working with special districts.
In late July 2020, the District, together with Tripepi Smith, used a research-based approach to create ways for constituents to easily navigate the new website including homepage quick links and a site map. The District studied its existing website’s Google analytics, the most recent triannual public opinion survey and service request data to identify the most visited pages, understand website visitors and their behavior, and find the best way to organize the new website’s site map by finding a balance between important information for the public to know and information they gravitate toward.
Although the website project was in the planning stage before the COVID-19 pandemic began, the spring 2020 quarantine accelerated the need to better serve and inform the residents of Placer County virtually, particularly during peak mosquito season. With all events and in-person outreach canceled due to the pandemic, virtual communication with residents as they sheltered at home became more important than ever, making the website a focus of the District’s public outreach efforts.
As technology has evolved it’s no secret a website continues to be the front door to any business or operation including the District. The District’s new website, placermosquito.org, is just that. The homepage features easy to navigate menus, quick links, a District map and description of what the District does. Without having to move your mouse or scroll beyond the fold, a website visitor receives the highlights of District activities and news. The new website also has the ability to deploy popup windows to emphasize important information, so that site visitors can immediately recognize if West Nile virus risk is high or if operations have changed as they have during the COVID-19 pandemic. These elements were added to ensure the ability to respond quickly and efficiently to emergencies or changes in important information and for the District to do its best to educate the public.
Additional features of the new website include original staff photography, built-in digital forms, enhanced ADA compliance, a Transparency Hub, and an applied research page.
Original Staff Photography
To more accurately tell the District’s story and help the public visualize District operations, there was a need to have better and more high-quality photography of District staff at work throughout the website. From treating tree holes to testing in the lab, all elements of District operations were captured and focused on the people who make up the District and do the actual work. By using captivating visuals, the District felt it is better able to tell the District’s unique story.
Built-in Digital Forms
Integrated forms for insect identification and job opportunities allow the District to quickly review insect ID requests and more easily process prospective employees’ digital applications in a more seamless application process. Both of these forms have upload options for photos and documents and are emailed to a District employee for processing.
Enhanced ADA Compliance
It is very important to the District to make the website accessible to everyone. By adding a UserWay accessibility widget, website visitors can change the website appearance to meet their needs.
The Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District is committed to transparency and wanted to make important District information and public documents more easily accessible and understandable. The Transparency Hub is a source of information on District operations, finances and governance. The District intends to apply for the California Special District Association transparency certificate in 2021 to continue its commitment to provide transparency to the people of Placer County.
Technology and Applied Research
Detailed information on the District’s important technology and applied research activities are nestled under the What We Do menu. Technology and applied research projects are sometimes behind the scenes, but are essential in influencing District operational decisions and approaches. The District is excited to share details of these programs with its constituents so they can better understand how the District integrates new technology and innovation into operations while they learn about the robust research conducted annually.
The new website features all of this and much more. MVCAC members are encouraged to check it out and be sure to sign up for District news emails to receive ongoing District updates including information about the 20th Anniversary celebration events. The District is planning to hold a spring virtual celebration and will share more exciting events on the website in the coming months.
For question and comments, please reach out to Public Information Officer Meagan Luevano, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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