Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A beautiful wreck

The very day that Metro IT touted its pretty spread in the paper
I could not find overlay documents I searched for.

Metro's IT Director Keith Durbin is very proud of his department's online makeover:

“We had a number of goals .... One was to make the site simple enough so that visitors don’t feel like they need to understand the organizational structure of Metro government in order to find what they need .... It looks great and it works great [and its function is] based on marrying today’s website technology with information we gathered from surveys and focus groups over the last two years.”

It also looks like a big promotion for the Mayor's future political aspirations based on the subsidized capital projects and corporate tax breaks he has doled out over two terms. It sets links to Mayor's Office flackery and their email subscription service above most everything else.

This is no sour grapes. The winners are the ones who write history (and the code), but just from a pragmatic point of view it looks like one of the other IT goals is to sublimate user-friendly and practical links for Metro service delivery under huge banner pictures that appear to be striving for Hizzoner's glossy feel-good portfolio.

Likewise, many helpful links that I have linked over the years on this blog that brought Nashvillians closer to the halls of governance are moved elsewhere. I've heard grumblings from various quarters by those who came to rely on ease of access of important information. Now it is a scavenger hunt obstructed and sidetracked by huge banners and air-brushed mayoral portraits. Did those focus groups really care to contemplate a Photoshopped mural of the Music City monument to tourists instead of riding a straight shot to a rezoning proposal or a Public Works contact form?

1 comment:

  1. Glad I am not the only one who thought that Metro's new website is terrible. You cannot find anything, and it certainly seems to be the online shrine to Karl Dean. What a waste of taxpayer money. We have high school students who could have put together a better website. Somebody please tell Keith Durbin that Nashville,even Nashville government, is so much more than KD.