Phoenix City Website

City of Phoenix

Transparency:  Phoenix has video available but its not connected to the City Council homepage and I didn’t find any evidence of City Council meeting videos.  However, it easy to navigate to the City Council page and the information that is available including agendas, minutes and reports is easily available and well presented. “B-“

Feedback: They do have “e-services” which allow citizens to sign up for reports, pay water bills and get accident reports.  Pretty limited ability to connect electronically with the city. “C”

Richness of Information:  Unlike with some municipal websites, it was relatively easy to find the section dealing with building issues.  Once you click on “Businesses” from the home page, there is a link on the left sidebar for “Development Guide.”  This takes the visitor to a page with lots of links and a list of construction topics.  Oddly, at the top level there is a link for a “sign permit” but the information on building permits is buried among the construction topics.  It would make more since to surface “building permits” and include sign permits among them.  Once you get to the building permit section, the information is clear, useful and seemingly comprehensive.  “B”

Transacting business: It appears that Phoenix doesn’t require all businesses to obtain a license when operating in the city.  It pretty easy to navigate to the business license section from a header on the “Businesses” page called “Business Licenses.”  It take the visitor to a page called, “Liquor and other regulated business licenses.”  I think its strange that they create a page which covers a number of different licenses and group under “Liquor.”  Perhaps the liquor license is the most popular but then why not create a separate link to a liquor license page while calling the page with all the licenses, “Regulated business licenses?”  Phoenix has online information available but you have to go to the city offices to obtain the license.  “B-“

Overall:  The Phoenix city website is well-integrated with a clear, easy layout and decent navigation.  It contains good brochure-type information about city services but doesn’t allow the citizens to conduct much business with the city.  Also, I noticed a confusion in a couple places about how to structure content.  There is a tendency to elevate links to relatively obscure information – like types of permits and licenses and obscure links to more relevant information.  “B-“

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