Revamped Town of Herndon website to go live this summer

The current home page for the Town of Herndon’s website

A revamped version of the Town of Herndon’s website is set to go live this summer.

In the works since last fall, the new site is intended to improve navigation and accessibility for users.

At a Herndon Town Council work session on Tuesday (May 16), town spokesperson Anne Curtis said the town plans to do beta testing before going live with the website this summer.

The new site has fewer menu options on the header and fewer expandable menus in favor of displaying more content directly on the homepage. It also includes several large icons with quicklinks that are popular.

Granicus — the software company the town is working with — also created a mechanism on the site that allows users to switch through a series of drop-down selects to navigate through the site.

For example, a user would be directed to a page on how to pay specific fees and forms based on responses from a drop-down menu.

Staff offered a preview at the May 16 work session, stressing that the work was ongoing. Council members overwhelmingly lauded the new design.

“There’s lot of work still to be done on this website,” Curtis said, adding that departments are now working on populating the pages with content.

A survey of 82 respondents found that residents wanted to see more visible department buttons, better search results and less reliance on drop-down menus.

Based on the town’s analysis, the bounce rates for the site hover around the same levels for most sites with similar content — nearly 61%. Most users appear to use the website for information on meeting agendas, Herndon Community Center, jobs, recreation and the police department’s weekly crime report.

The split between mobile and desktop users was relatively even: 53% for phones and 46% for desktop users.

The translation feature on the website is also rarely used — a feature that may be redundant with in-browser translation that is offered by most browsers or devices.

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