Skip to Content

Milwaukee County

Software Development | UX Design | UX Strategy | Website Development

Main Content

Milwaukee County is located in southeastern Wisconsin. With the City of Milwaukee at its center, Milwaukee County has more than 950,000 residents, making it the largest metropolitan area in the State of Wisconsin.

The Situation

Milwaukee County came to Northwoods in need of design services and a content management platform, as well as a powerful search tool that would help residents determine whether the City or County would address their needs.

The Solution

The Northwoods team conducted usability testing to determine how users navigated the site and built a County/City joint portal using Titan CMS, an enterprise content management system powered by Northwoods. Titan SmartSearch technology provided a single point of access to all City/County services.

Homepage Design

Homepages are meant to guide users further into a website by funneling them to the content they want. As a large government entity serving many diverse interests, Milwaukee County has a considerable amount of content on its website and needed to make navigating it as easy as possible. To facilitate quick scanning, the homepage design clearly groups content through use of colors, borders, imagery, and cards to help users find the information they need. 

Overall Website Design

Northwoods created a structured mega menu that uses tabs to reveal sub-menu items, as shown above. This approach provides a way to easily show the main areas of the site in a single view without overwhelming the user with too many options. 

Additionally, not all users want to search through the site navigation or to scan pages to find their desired content. Someone looking for a very specific piece of information, such as how to pay a parking ticket, may prefer to use the site search.

Adding a search bar at the top center of the homepage improves the user experience by making search easy to find. A search icon is also added to the navigation on interior pages so that it’s readily accessible from any page on the site. 

Milwaukee County’s website is an umbrella site connected to many other departments within the County, including the Health and Human Services Department and the Parks Department, pictured below. These websites follow the same page layout as the Milwaukee County site but use different colors and imagery to differentiate them from each other. 

At the same time, a circular pattern is applied to each site to provide a unique design element that helps connect the websites together. This pattern also gives the overall design a stronger personality. Many websites use the same light gray colors, but applying a subtle pattern to the gray background makes it stand out more and prevents the website from feeling too bland. 

The Outcome

The City/County portal page is now a one-stop search engine for the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County government information and services. The Center for Digital Government recognized the Milwaukee County website with an Overall County Government Experience award, honoring U.S. governments that offer citizens increasingly sophisticated user experiences and leverage sophisticated tools to amplify their reach.

Contact Us