Friday, June 12, 2009

Web redesign

If you haven't noticed already, the Lincoln Police Department's public website has undergone a radical makeover. Officer Katie Flood has been hard at work porting all our pages over to the new template she designed. I think it looks great. She's also the graphic artist and publisher of our Annual Report, another gem.

RedesignHer update of the public web site made my blogger template look embarrassingly dated, so I spent a little time Tuesday night fiddling with the Chief's Corner. It's not as sophisticated as Officer Flood's work, but I got close enough to avoid clashing terribly with the public site.

While all this has been underway, Capt. Doug Srb has been working to launch new software, TipSoft, for handling Crimestoppers tips. The results have been great. The ability to accept anonymous online tips and text message tips in addition to phone calls has caused the numbers to jump up to a new plateau. For the first time in my career, I can now see Crimestoppers tips immediately as they arrive. The delay in entering these data has been completely eliminated.

We also took a critical look at the Crimestoppers page on our public website. We want to get more of the high-quality photos and videos from crimes out on the public site more quickly. We've got plenty of examples of cases cleared when someone saw a photo or video, and a quarter million sets of eyes are better than our 317. What better vehicle to do so than blogger? As a result, we've created the Lincoln Crimestoppers blog.

We still have a few tweaks to make on all of these recent changes, but overall it has been a productive week of online redesign at LPD

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sorry, the old was far better and simple.

Anonymous said...

Chief,
In the good ol' days the Post office used to have a bulletin board of WANTED posters showing pictures and reward amounts for various fugitive felons. Do you know of a website where these modern day WANTED posters might be online?

I need $400 to put a new set of tires on my motorcycle and I am sure some of the sleazeballs I see around town just have to have some kind of price on their head. I can't think of a better way of financing the new rubber.

Gun Nut

Karin Dalziel said...

Love the new design! Kudos to officer Flood. :)

Steve said...

Chief:

I never had any reason to go to the old Crimestoppers site, but I think the makeover you linked to looks great. It would be nice, though, if there was some way to make the photos larger. Even after clicking on the small versions, they seem too small to really get a feel for what the person looks like (some of them anyway). All in all, I'd say Officer Flood is doing a wonderful job.

Tom Casady said...

7:15-

A simple list with the most-used links at the top is awfully functional. From my personal standpoint, the fewer images, bullets, flash elements, and other stuff, the better. Get me to the content. Alas, you and I are old school. The visual punch is important for the vast majority of visitors. I think this is a good blend, and you'll get used to clicking that "Police Activity" button soon enough. You gotta admit it looks good.

Gun Nut-

You bet. It's the Lancaster Lookout, hosted on the Sheriff's site. Go here. Lancaster Lookout started in about 1991, when another person was Sheriff. A marketing rep at Cablevision approached the Sheriff about running a slide show of wanted persons on cable's weather banner channel. Dep. Dave Pekarek, as I recall, got the assignment to coordinate. It quickly became very popular, and tips came in aplenty. Advertisers on Cablevision all wanted their slides adjacent to the Lancaster Lookout mug shots, to generate more viewers.

Karen, Steve-

Thanks, I'll make sure the compliment is delivered.

Steve-

Yes, we need to stop using scanned PDFs of posters, and use the best source image we can get our hands on, instead. We'll get better at that. Sometimes the best image we have is still not very good, but we're just making it worse by printing-scanning-posting. It starts electronically, and needs to stay that way.

Anonymous said...

Can you link crimestoppers to your blog on permanent link?

Anonymous said...

uhmmmmm......snazzy? That's the word I was looking for. Nice work Ofc. Flood.

Anonymous said...

This is a great change!

Great job Katie Katie!!

Steve said...

Chief:

Glad you agree, and I have no doubt you will continue to seek improvements.

Trevor Brass said...

Nice new look: now I am no longer staring into a lightbulb with all the white space, much easier on the eyes. Good job!

Anonymous said...

I didn't know web design was part of you and Flood's job description.

South Island said...

Hi Chief Casady, the new web site looks great. A couple of quick suggestions:

You may want to consider changing the font to something more readable, or perhaps one size bigger. I suspect many of the viewers will be older Lincoln residents whose eyes are not what they used to be (or this may be transference on my part :-).

All of the menu links work from the main Lincoln web page. However, as soon as you go to a specific page from the left hand menu (for example "history -> by decade"), most of the links in the left hand menu stop working. There are a couple ways to fix this... one way is use the two dots and a slash "../" in the HTML links to move up one directory level before linking to another sub-directory.

I know you said there were still some kinks to work out so maybe you are already aware of this.

My final suggestion would be to make the Lincoln police logo in the top left corner clickable at any time to take the user back to the main page.

Again, great job.

David Bratzer

Anonymous said...

Now you just need a flash movie of R. Lee Ermey screaming "Lock your &#%@& doors and don't leave &%#%^@#" visible when you park your car!". Based on your incident listings, everything else seems to go in one ear and out the other with far too many idjits, so it might be worth a try.

Anonymous said...

Regarding A9-056191 - wow, in broad daylight, on that block. Aren't all the houses on that block owner-occupied? Some relationship conflict or else a "social organization" issue, I assume.

Tom Casady said...

7:19 -

Little more to that story than you can pick up from the call summary....

Anonymous said...

That's not surprising, and there's probably even more that I can't tell from the LJS story. I found it surprising that in a sedate area like that, multiple shots on two separate occasions overnight wouldn't be heard and reported ASAP by multiple callers.

Anonymous said...

The old site didn't look as nice, but was probably more accessible to all citizens. Probably though, the site isn't used that much so you won't get any real complaints.

The main problems I have with the site are that the clickable links are not very obvious until you mouse over them and the menu system is clumsy to use (menu disappears if the mouse rolls off) and I would prefer to have links drill-down to each main section. Finally, the cruiser image takes up too much space forcing me to scroll down even to see the entire menu.

Anonymous said...

It is pitiful no one called in. There are shots fired calls all of the time that are actually someone shooting fireworks. Perhaps with all of the shots coming at once the neighbors thought it was a string of firecrackers going off and not a re-enactment of a scene from The Godfather minus Sonny Corleone.