Mayor Pete Buttigieg—along with Force 5 Media and the City of South Bend’s Website Development Team—unveiled a new city website on Thursday. The website redesign is part of a larger, long-term initiative to enhance technology and efficiency throughout the City administration. The new website promotes the City as an exciting place to live and a friendly place to conduct business.
“We want the citizens of South Bend to have a new and improved experience on the website, whether it’s paying the monthly utility bill or finding something fun to do,” said Mayor Buttigieg. “The site will speak to a number of different audiences. It will reintroduce our residents to the community and its benefits and also promote resources for business growth, student living, government services, and people who want to visit our community.”
The City has designed and launched an interactive and visually appealing website. The site allows for better communication and an enhanced user experience while highlighting the most visited areas of the website, such as City departments, services, business licensing/permitting, and more.
“As a brand development and marketing firm in South Bend, we understand the importance of a great first impression! We are pleased to have been on the development team for such an important project,” said David Morgan, Partner and Executive Director at Force 5 Media. “The web site shows that the city is forward thinking—concentrates on our residents, while opening doors to businesses and students alike. It’s going to be a great portal for a great city.”
The new website, highlights the major departments of the city, provides links to important community attractions, and sets the stage to add additional information as the city continues its branding efforts. The website will not replace good customer service, but rather supplement it—adding quick access to needed forms and city information while promoting the brand of the city.
The Website Development Team was led by Jitin Kain in the Department of Community and Economic Development. City officials met regularly with Force 5 Media to plan the website and the City also held public sessions with the South Bend Common Council and smaller focus groups with various community stakeholders to gather input. The process was public and positive and resulted in a good outcome.
The website launch is another step in Mayor Buttigieg’s commitment to leverage technology throughout the City administration. Earlier this year, the City made the transition to VOIP phones for better quality. The City is currently in the middle of a transition to Microsoft Outlook e-mail and scheduling software. It’s the first overhaul of this system since the City started using e-mail. Additionally, the City is working on the development of a 3-1-1 customer service line to expedite calls to various departments and to address problems and relay important information.