The Town of Zionsville is nearing completion of a new town website.

Zionsville Information Technology Director Joe Rust said that the preliminary design will be finished in March.

The process of restructuring and redesigning a town website began last year after the town signed a contract with the Carmel-based technological marketing and advertising company, MediaSauce. This contract stated that MediaSauce will redesign the current website for an unchangeable price of $28,500.

In a meeting on Dec. 16, members of the Zionsville Town Council met with MediaSauce account manager Dora Lutz and approved a completed version of the new website’s sitemap. This map shows that there will be a place on the website for every department of the town.

“We wanted to make sure we would have all the pages we needed,” Rust said.

Rust began his work as IT director in August, and said that up to this point he has received comments from the public expressing their concern over the current site’s level of functioning.

“We receive responses from folks who can’t find things,” Rust said. “We are trying to address this.”

Rust said that his primary concern is making the website “accessible and simple.”

“There will be a lot on the new site that is already existing (on the current site),” he said. “But obviously we are getting rid of a lot.”

To ensure the public has a well designed website that is easy for everyone to use, Rust said it is important to spend as much time as necessary on the new site.

He said that while March is the estimated date for completion, the website must undergo tests to make certain it is user friendly.

“At that time we will be doing usability testing,” he said. ‘This will be one of the final points, and we will work painstakingly to get it right.”

Included in these tests are things such assigning specific search tasks to people. This is to make sure that anyone can find what they are looking for.

Rust said that he is impressed with MediaSauce so far and that they are completing the job with the ultimate level of precision.

“The process that we’re moving through right now depends on if they get everything done to our liking,” he said. “They have been very helpful.”

Last week, a rough draft of the website’s general appearance and design were resubmitted to MediaSauce for further development.

In addition to a new town website, Rust said the town’s IT team is expanding its communication efforts. The public can find local updates on Twitter at @ZionsvilleIN and on Facebook under Zionsville, Indiana- Town of Zionsville. The town’s website is located at www.zionsville-in.gov.

A MediaSauce representative was unavailable for comment as of press time.

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