City of Long Beach Water Department

CASE HISTORY – Creating a New Image Centered on an Objective

The Long Beach Water Department wanted to create an entirely new web presence to help support the primary goal of water conservation and the secondary goals of education and community involvement. Therefore a new theme was created and the Long Beach Water Department was reinvented with a more transparent and community-centric image. Now, all residents are unique members of a club to which only they can belong to: the Long Beach 90H2O.

After creating a community-centric concept, we designed a look-and-feel that supported the 90H2O message. Content silos and navigation pathways were established to help visitors quickly navigate to areas they sought. Once these basics of web development were completed, we developed compelling ways within the site to engage, educate and interact with 90H2O members in manner that helped to achieve the goals of conservation, education and information.

Through integrated polls, surveys other typical embedded elements, we were able to create a sense of community participation and ultimately, understand what types of ways to drive water conservation efforts. We added a Second Life virtual world component where visitors could virtually meet and learn more about water use, conservation and education.

In the Second Life component, visitors can also learn about native, eco-friendly drought-resistant plants for use in landscaping. The virtual conservation gardens in Second Life are connected to a database in the website that refers interested visitors to local nurseries, thus helping promote the local economy, also. The new web presence includes a Kids’ Games section, enhanced media info section and a clean and engaging design and architecture.

In creating the whole ‘Long Beach 90H2O’ concept, it was important that we approached it from a community-centric perspective. The Long Beach Water Department is an award-winning municipal agency that is dedicated to the service of its customers and we wanted to be sure the community-centric 90H2O concept helped to embrace and to cultivate that.

Post-launch measurements verified that within the first two weeks of launch, the new design was already having a profound effect of the flow of traffic to the areas in which we wanted it to flow – namely conservation and education.

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