In response to community concerns about noise the San Rafael and Novato City Councils have established a Quiet Zone effective immediately. The train horn will not blow at railroad crossings.

Let’s Get Digital, San Rafael!

Posted on August 4, 2016


This week we kicked off our journey to a beautiful new city website; a process to reimagine how residents businesses and visitors engage with San Rafael.

This new site will help to lay a key foundation for our community engagement efforts as well as be a home to our expanding digital services.

Meet our amazing and incredible project team:

  • Lindsay (City Clerk’s office): she has played a huge role in bringing our records into the 21st century. Her goal for this project: meet people where they are through content everyone understands.
  • Henry (Library): taking a break from paving the information superhighway, Henry is someone who doesn’t just think outside the box – he reinvents it. Henry is particularly excited that this new site is open source.
  • Michele (Community Development): you got questions? Michele has answers; and she wants you to be able to find them fast online. Her main goal: empowering residents with easy to find information.
  • Tom (Economic Development): this man about town has a way with words and he is super into helping our local economy blossom. Tom is excited about showcasing our community and attracting new businesses to San Rafael.
  • Alan (Community Development): cool kid, Alan makes no small plans. He wants this new site to enable people to conduct city business from the comfort of their smartphone. No more need for hand delivery of printed forms.
  • Christine (Public Works): as a relatively new hire, Christine remembers trying to research online about the department where she was applying to work. She’s excited to see up-to-date department information more easily accessible.
  • Laura (Community Services): with a background in marketing and design, Laura is looking forward to making our new site human-centered. She is on a mission to eliminate government-speak and break down the silos.
  • Courtney (Fire Department): always watching out, Courtney wants to ensure a user-friendly experience for City staff too. She’s also ready to de-clutter our content and rethink how we present ourselves to the public.
  • Danielle (Finance): passionate about search, Danielle wants people to be able to find what they are looking for fast. She’s also totally psyched about online payments.
  • Rebecca (City Manager’s office): that’s me. My goal in all this is to empower staff and wow the community. San Rafael is awesome and our website should be, too.

Our first sprint includes diving deep into content strategy and creation. Working cross-departmentally, no one is allowed to lead the content strategy for their own department. Also, we’ll be supplementing our Google Analytics with interviews of department directors and front-line staff as well as with our public counter customers.

We’ll be using this blog to share updates on our accomplishments and learnings. And, not just about our new website; other digital endeavors as well, including how people report issues and give feedback, public records requests, open data, and more.

Subscribe to updates and/or follow me on Twitter @WhatUpSanRafael, Instagram @sanrafaelawesome  

Check out my ELGL post What I Learned ‘Buying’ Our New City Digital Services.

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