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Grand Forks city website redesign launches Thursday

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The city of Grand Forks website looks entirely different today.

If you log on to www.grandforksgov.com, you’ll find a redesigned website that city employees say is more efficient and easier to navigate than the previous site.

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The new site has been in the works for about a year, said John Bernstrom, city spokesman.

City Council allocated $70,000 to the project, and while the exact cost was not available Wednesday, the project is under budget, said Sherie Lundmark, of the city Finance Department.

Mobile app

One new feature with the website is a “GF311” app, which can be used on a computer or smartphone to directly report concerns around town, such as missed garbage pickup, graffiti or potholes.

Anything reported through GF311 goes directly to the appropriate city staff member’s cellphone, and a response will be sent back to the person who reported the concern, Bernstrom said.

“It’s much more interactive,” he said.

For smartphones, the app can be found in the Apple and Google Play stores by searching “GF311.” It is also under the “Online Services” tab on the website.

Website

Along with the app, the new website itself is designed to be more user-friendly, Bernstrom said.

In designing the website, city staff worked with a consulting company and issued two public surveys. They also conducted three focus groups to test the site, Bernstrom said.

“(The website) has a fresher look, and a new feel for us,” said Andrea Laraway, of the Planning and Community Development Department.

To improve navigation on the site, features were put in multiple places, Bernstrom said. The search function on the site has also been updated and is now Google-based.

Both Laraway and Bernstrom emphasized that the website is not complete, and that any feedback from users would be welcomed.

“I foresee minor tweaks, minor adjustments continuing to happen,” Bernstrom said. “It’s going to be a learning experience on both sides.”

Want to use the new city website?

On a computer: www.grandforksgov.com

On a smartphone: search GF311 in the app store

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Charly Haley
Charly Haley covers city government for the Grand Forks Herald. As night reporter, she also has many general assignments. Before working at the Herald, she was a reporter at the Jamestown Sun and interned at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Detroit Lakes Newspapers and the St. Cloud Times. Haley is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, and her hometown is Sartell, Minn.
(701) 780-1102
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