By Meredith McCulloch
Last week the Town of Bedford got a whole new virtual look. The Town website (bedfordma.gov) has been revised to create a contemporary homepage which is crisp and easy to navigate. Information is shown in white boxes displayed against photographs of Bedford, which helps residents feel right at home.
Finance Director Victor Garofalo said the design was developed by Virtual Town, a company in Boxborough, MA working with Finance Department staff. Sherwood Ives, Systems Information Manager, and Anna Collins, TechSupport, joined Garofalo in working with the vendor to custom fit the site for Bedford’s needs. The new site is designed to be “mobile friendly” which means it displays well on the smaller screens found on mobile devices like smartphones, iPads, and other tablets.
From the homepage, the four major tabs are “About Bedford,” “Departments,”“Boards/Committees,” and “For Businesses,” which links to Town information of special value to new or current businesses.
One tab called ”Popular Pages” uses computer algorithms to list pages where people go most commonly. This is the same methodology that commercial sites use to direct users to popular pages that match a search. This list will update regularly based on user’s actual visits to the site. Readers are urged to go to the website and explore.
On the homepage, residents will find a block labeled “E-Alerts,” where residents can sign up to get emails of documents about specific boards, committees, or departments. Soon the posted meeting agendas will be displayed with links to documents relating to issues that are being considered. Residents who want to attend meetings will be able to go more prepared on the issues