|19.03.14 Beta-version of new Hel.fi-site published
The City of Helsinki website is undergoing a thorough overhaul. The main goal of the process is to improve the usability of the site by making it easier than before to find information. The new site is resident-oriented and service-focused. Users no longer need to know which City department has produced a particular service when they seek information about this service. The new site also works with smartphones and tablet computers. Language versions are still under work and translations will be added. Beta-version
A beta version of the redesigned Hel.fi website has been launched. A beta version means that the site is not yet complete. Both the content and functions of the site are still being developed. By launching the beta version, site developers seek to ensure that the site will function appropriately, and they invite user feedback on the site to be utilized in the further development work.
The beta version is available in Finnish, Swedish and English. German, French and Russian versions will be done later. As soon as the new site is complete, it will replace the old one. The City of Helsinki departments and Helsinki City Group municipal enterprises have begun to renovate their websites in 2014.
Feedback and suggestions invited
The contents and functions of the website will be developed further on the basis of feedback. Helsinki residents are invited to send feedback and suggestions for the development of the site to the developers using the feedback form.
The new Hel.fi website is user-oriented in that users no longer have to know the City organization in order to find the information that they need. City services and news are grouped by theme and user group. The most popular services and the main headlines are highlighted on the home page.
The navigation bar of each service lists the most frequently visited sections at Recommended. City services are described in a new service register, which allows visitors to choose the type of service: electronic service, printable forms, telephone service and service in person.
The pages categorized by resident group focus on news concerning the resident group in question and services targeted at that group. City neighbourhood pages contain a great deal of local information.
Contact and accessibility information more prominently displayed
User surveys and statistics show that some of the most frequently visited sections of the City website are contact information pages. As a result, these pages are now more prominently displayed.
The main contact information can be found at the bottom of each page. A new contact information search, to be launched in December, can be used to find the contact and accessibility information of each City operation. The accessibility information serves residents with disabilities and other residents alike, as well as those moving with strollers.
The accessibility information includes information about parking spaces, doors, thresholds, ramps, toilets, elevators and many other facilities.
Increased efficiency from utilization of databases
New webpages are generated efficiently with reduced manual stages and with automatic compilation of pages from databases.
Contact and accessibility information is compiled from the City operations register. Services are described in the service register. Decision-making documents are compiled from the City document management system and event information from the database of the Helsinki City Tourist & Convention Bureau. The register data is also available as open data for free use by all application developers.
Feedback collected with the help of the City website is processed in the City feedback system. The system generates information about the volume of feedback, topics and feedback processing. This information is used to develop City services further and to improve the City website.
Site still in construction
Many features of the redesigned website are still under development, and a number of services are not yet operational. For example, the search function takes users to old pages. The website setup may cause occasional short service breaks and slow operating speeds.
Background to the website redesign
The redesign of the Hel.fi website has been carried out on the basis of information from user surveys and user statistics. The new site concept and many of the site functions have been designed accordingly.
The redesign has been a collaborative effort by the City of Helsinki departments. The project has been managed by the City central administration. The general site design was produced by students of Aalto University as a student project, and detailed design was produced by Koro Oy. The technical platform is provided by IBM.