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Designing the Site

Creating your site's look, content, and features is an evolving process. Even though your government may not have the time, staff, and funds to devote an entire team to the design effort, it's important to periodically check in with others in your government to make sure you're heading in the right direction.

Here are some things you need to do when designing your municipal Web site.

Keep your audience in mind

Knowing how your citizens use the Web can help you design your site around their needs. There is a great deal of research available about how people use the Web. For example, Jakob Nielsen, considered the guru of Web usability, says it should take no longer than 10 seconds for a page to load on a user's computer. If users must wait longer than that, traffic to your site will begin to drop off.