Insights Into Our Development Process for Creating the New TW Dashboard

TownWeb recently launched our new and improved client Dashboard as a direct response to your feedback. Our clients’ responses in our survey during the summer were essential in helping us design the newest version of the WordPress Dashboard, tailored to the customers needs. We are constantly working on its improvement and looking for new ways to make the platform more intuitive and easier to use for municipal clerks. In this post, we’ll offer some insight into our development process and the changes we have made.

survey

Summary of the survey results

Firstly, the good news was that you found our customer support efficient, friendly and helpful. You also found our web design package affordable and well-designed with a good layout, and were happy with our free, unlimited training sessions.

However, the functionality of the CMS left some customers a little frustrated and others wished for better user manuals. Some common complaints revolved around ease of use and Town clerks mentioned experiencing problems updating their websites. Since TownWeb takes customer concerns seriously, we decided to take action to ensure our product is as high-quality and easy to use as possible.

To learn more about our survey results, please see our blog post.

The Main Features of the New TownWeb Dashboard

1. Google Analytics

The new dashboard has an eye-catching new feature that will really help municipal staff to understand their visitors. TownWeb has added a Google Analytics widget that is the first thing you’ll notice when logging in. It allows you to see how many people have visited your website from either the last week or last month. Its graph format allows gives you a good visual reference for the most popular days. Best of all, it continually updates the statistics since it works in real time.

Analytics are an important tool for clerks to learn more about visitors to their website. Google Analytics can supply valuable statistics regarding device usage, location, keyword searches and time spent on the site. Therefore, we’ve integrated this feature onto the main page so that town clerks can easily monitor visitors and create future content to meet their requirements.

website-analytics

2. A Better Interface

Before we developed the latest version of the dashboard, municipal clerks were not always able to find all of the relevant information and options for updating their minutes and agendas. The new interface looks better and is easier to navigate. The four main sections are well-organized with a menu bar not only across the top of the dashboard, but also in the left-hand corner above the Analytics chart. The latter is larger and easy to spot with picture buttons representing the subject alongside the section titles. These comprise Minutes/Agendas, News/Notices, Existing Pages, and Events. They give brief and helpful information on the last agendas and news posted, in addition to the number of pages on your website and events taking place during the current month.

TownWeb has built a mini artificial intelligence into the system. It informs you of items that require your attention and means that every time you post an agenda, you’ll need to add the corresponding minutes. The widget will tell you when there are missing documents and there is a button that you can use to quickly add the minutes in PDF format. Directly underneath that, we’ve created a Notifications section. It provides updates and reminders from TownWeb regarding your website, such as missing documents for different types of meetings.

In the top right-hand corner of the dashboard, you can find a “support section” with links to our PDF manuals and video tutorials. It also lists TownWeb’s contact details and a button to submit a support ticket, which gets added to our inbox so that you can receive email support.

Finally, there’s a section that gives you the latest news and notices which are currently visible to the public on your homepage.

3. Manage Your Website in Just 3 Clicks

We realized our dashboard was too complicated for use, so we improved its functionality. We decided to work on making the dashboard and instructions more accessible by creating a more intuitive user experience design and limiting the number of clicks needed to edit information.

Uploading news, notices, minutes and agendas is now more efficient with a new window popping up for each change that needs to be made. For example, when a municipal clerk clicks on the Minutes/Agendas button, updates can be made right away in the pop-up window. It’s the same as the old admin screen in that you can select the meeting title, date and category. You can also attach documents and embed a Youtube video of the meeting or a SoundCloud URL for audio recordings. The big difference is that you only click three buttons: the section you want to update, the information and the save/submit button.

Video Demo

The dashboard is now much easier to navigate and it allows town clerks to effectively manage their own municipal websites. We provide a free video demo on how to use the TownCMS dashboard. It includes easy to follow visuals and instructions. Of course, free training is still available to those who would like more help.

A Quick Overview of the New Dashboard

Here’s a brief overview of how we improved the dashboard:

  • Each page upload has been limited to three clicks using pop-up windows
  • The user experience is more intuitive
  • The user interface is more aesthetically appealing
  • Google Analytics has been integrated into the main page
  • Automatic notifications and updates have been installed
  • The events table has been redesigned
  • Printable PDFs are available for the user manual

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