The Town of Southern Shores debuted a new website today, much to our surprise and uncertainty. We will need some time to adjust to the changes before we can evaluate how much they improve the website experience.
While we have long believed the former website was not very user-friendly–and we have been critical of it–we had become familiar with its operations and knew where to locate the information we sought. It was a bit like an eccentric, but reliable friend. We especially liked the notices of upcoming meetings with links to background materials on the home page. We liked having a quick hit-and-run for what’s coming up in town. Now there is a calendar link on the home page and links within the calendar to get to the information we would like to read before a meeting.
What’s the unwritten rule in website design about the number of links a reader will tolerate before getting frustrated and quitting?
The “Beach Nourishment” button on the home page was also handy. Now we must search “Town Services” to obtain a beach nourishment project update.
Indeed, most of the nuts-and-bolts information that residents will want is listed under the “Town Services” link or under the “How Do I . . . ” link. These groupings will undoubtedly improve navigation for people who are new to the website. We will be curious to see how well the new “Search” function works. We have never had success using this function as a research tool. Knock on wood, we will now.
We invite you to visit and explore the new website at https://www.southernshores-nc.gov/ and write to us about your experience.
Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 11/9/22