Hang Your Hat: August 10, 2017

The website challenge

The Sun City Website is not an issue widely discussed among the community’s 9,000 residents. Based on casual conversation, interest in the website is limited. Only eleven residents attended a Computer Club-sponsored “How to use the Website“ session last week. At a recent neighborhood meeting when asked for a show of hands from those who use the website, no one replied. Who knows why the indifference, but that is their prerogative.

Nevertheless, there are many residents who do have an interest and would like to depend upon the website as an information source. Many have commented that they looked forward to an improved site, more user-friendly and intuitive than its predecessor.

The original Sun City website, in spite of its shortcomings, provided a measure of functionality. The expectation and promise that the new website, launched in April 2017, would be an improvement has been a disappointment. Category headings, drop down menus, links, anticipated data, and information included in the new website are challenges.

In today’s world of communication, anyone with a computer and internet service can go online to learn almost anything. An interested shopper can find out if Kohl’s carries a man’s size 11.5 slip-on boat shoe in brown or try to learn how to connect a Bluetooth phone in a new Subaru car. A simple click on a simple link provides an answer. But in Sun City, as an example, if you are looking for the meeting minutes of the NAC [Neighborhood Advisory Council], the hunt is on. It will take a few futile clicks and finally a call to staff for help who will provide the path. Granted, Sun City is not Kohl’s or Subaru, but the Sun City website is lacking in its ability to serve simple needs, simply. The often heard ”We’re working on it“ and “It’s a work in progress“ are platitudes void of identifiable progress.

Expecting those who created and contributed to the new website to make improvements to it is does not encourage confidence. It was their collective planning which produced what we have to deal with. Alternate approaches to make improvements may be in order.

Over the years Sun City Management and Association Boards have successfully resolved many issues and completed many projects. It is with great optimism, that the Website issue be added to the list of ultimate achievements. Hopefully that will come about sooner than later.

Jim Darow
Sun City resident

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