“Helping City Leaders Build Better Communities” is the tagline of the National League of Cities (NLC), a professional research and advocacy organization for municipalities, which recently launched a new generation of its website.
While website redesigns are commonplace, there is nothing ordinary about the NLC’s impressive new website, which clearly reflects its mission to connect cities with programs and ideas to help them meet their challenges, share their successes, and advocate for change.
Its sleek design provides the backdrop for a comprehensive collection of informative resources and opportunities for interaction. From resources to promote community wellness and youth civic engagement to lists of conferences and professional networks, visitors to this website can easily locate specific content to match their needs and interests. Nothing is hidden or buried; everything is accessible via intuitive menu systems.
The impetus for the redesign was really two-fold, according to Amanda Straub, Media Relations Assistant with the NLC. The first goal was to update the structure and appearance of the website, encompassing current practices in website design. The new site includes a rotating marquis, video capabilities, links to social media sites, and a streamlined navigation system.
The other primary objective of the redesign was to reflect the rebranding and realignment of the organization, which took place two years ago. This internal realignment resulted in the creation of new programs designed to provide city leaders with tools and resources to expand city efforts to improve and strengthen communities, explains Straub. Examples include the Center for Research and Innovation, the Institute for Youth, Education and Families, and Enterprise Programs, which are strategic partnerships with private corporations to provide discounted products and services to cities.
These programs – and their respective subcategories – are conveniently packaged under the new “Find City Solutions” tab. Other main navigation tabs include “Influence Federal Policy” and “Build Skills and Network.” The best way to describe this new website is to liken it to a huge virtual library, divided into three main rooms, each full of well-organized shelves of valuable – and often interactive – resources. Users can enter any or all of these “rooms” depending on the purpose of their visit.
“We encourage visitors to the site to take a few minutes and explore the extensive content we have for and about cities,” said NLC Executive Director Donald J. Borut in a recent organization press release. “Whether it’s the latest news about how cities are faring in these difficult economic times, or a new guide for how to promote civility and effective problem solving in communities, NLC’s goal is to present the pressing information city leaders need.”