The Historic Quincy Business District launched their new website today. I was honored to help in a small capacity in the planning stages with my input on what they had in mind for the sight. Travis Brown director of the HQBD and I talked on several occasions just discussing how important a good functional website is in today’s world. The ability for a websites content to be updated by practically anyone and not just “nerd gurus”, consistent updating of content, and integration of social media sites. As I was looking over the finished results, I was pleased to see exactly that was accomplished. I really think the site should be considered the litmus test for future Quincy business/organizations for all future websites. Allow me to elaborate;
The days of static business card websites are dead. You need interesting content that will keep people coming back for more. This is achieved with the site’s rotating main “story” section. Most people think that some elaborate flash is necessary to bring an animation or eye candy to a website. While this may or may not help visually, there is a huge downside with some mobile devices like cell phones that aren’t able to process flash files. The HQBD site utilizes a non-flash method of rotation which I’m assuming is achieved via CSS coding. The result is dynamic refreshing content that looks amazing in an Internet browser OR an iPhone, that’s what accessibility is all about.
The Business directory is also a great feature that utilized Google Map’s API to display all featured businesses in a very sharp and clean fashion. The overall site design is very strong thanks to simple but affective design and the use of color to achieve visual organization of different sections of information. The site is built in a popular CMS system allowing easy updating by the HQBD staff. The main page does serves as a portal, containing links to main stories, the business directory, an upcoming events calendar as well as a latest news section, weather dates, as well as links to the HQBD’s social media site content including Facebook and Twitter, as well as a link to sign up for their newsletter. The search feature is ver cool as well, it is a AJAX powered search box that actively presents results as you are typing for instance searching for O’griffs, you only need starting typing OG….and results are presented automatically and the wrong results are eliminated per each additional keystroke. Very cool.
Rokusek Design was the responsible party for this website and I really think they did an outstanding job. The merging of overall design and functionality shows tremendous growth for Quincy websites. I’m ecstatic that Rokusek Design as well as several other places in Quincy such as ETC Computerland and Pyrographics are also possess the ability to provide modern functional websites that will help bring Quincy out of the dark ages web wise. I only hope and pray that The City of Quincy’s website will someday see the value of a modern website and take actions to present a web facade that matches Quincy’s true beauty and not one of outdated photos and an overall web presence that looks like it had just been recovered from a time capsule.