Brattleboro.org

Brattleboro.org will be upgraded to be more user friendly. 

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BRATTLEBORO — Brattleboro.org is about to get a big makeover.

“This is a website that is in need of a serious overhaul and I’m glad we’re going to be getting to it,” Select Board Vice Chairman Daniel Quipp said.

Brattleboro will hiring Edgeworks Creative of Waterbury for $48,145, leaving about $26,000 from what had been allocated for the project available for items that might pop up during the approximately nine-month process. At a recent meeting, the Select Board unanimously approved authorizing the town manager to sign a contract with the firm.

Planning Director Sue Fillion said she held focus groups and interviewed other town staff during the winter to gather input. The town put out a request for proposals in March and received 27 from around the world, although mostly from within the U.S.

In a memo, Fillion said the town wants to update the content and improve the overall look and feel, general functionality and features on brattleboro.org. Edgeworks Creative is anticipated to run a focus group to get feedback, launch the new site and provide training to town staff.

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“The new website design will be inviting, attractive, engaging, and accessible,” the firm said in its proposal. “The new site will provide a responsive design, making it mobile friendly. The site will be performant, well-organized, and simple to maintain with roles and permissions applied to allow content to be managed by department. The new site will provide a platform for the delivery of news and information that Brattleboro residents, businesses, and visitors can navigate more easily.”

Quipp described being “a regular user of brattleboro.org” and “regularly frustrated with it.”

“You know it is a hard site to navigate,” he said. “I’m a person who regularly uses it and sort of knows where things are so I was happy to see that Edgeworks in their initial experience with the website confirmed a lot of the same kind of problems that most users have.”

Town Manager Yoshi Manale said managing the project will be a contracted employee who has experience with website design and journalism. Board Chairman Ian Goodnow, a big proponent of upgrading the site, noted the effort is important to the board and members of Representative Town Meeting who approved funding at their annual meeting in March 2021 and voiced interest in the project.