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The Download - July 2015

Project Updates

ServiceNow Implementation

By Nicole McKinney, Project Manager, Franklin County Data Center

Exchange Upgrade

In the June edition of the Data Center newsletter, we updated you on the ServiceNow initiative with information on the associated Kaizen event. Kaizen, which was held on June 11 and June 18, was a significant achievement which allowed the Data Center to successfully map and assess our current processes. This exercise has been integral to optimizing and continuously improving the Data Center’s delivery processes as we move into implementing the ServiceNow platform in our environment. The FCDC is scheduled to kick off the implementation process with our contracted vendor, CareWorksTech, this month. We are excited to work with this vendor, and we look forward to the opportunity to deliver our services to our customers utilizing ServiceNow’s powerful platform.

Tech Corner

The Value of Responsive Design

By Joseph Kovell, Web Developer 3, Franklin County Data Center

It was not long ago that the desktop computer was the only window to the Internet. Today, more devices than ever are accessing websites - and they aren't like your old computer! These gadgets range from tiny cellphones to smart TVs, they probably don’t have a mouse, and they may not support technologies that used to be considered standard. Even more importantly, people now spend more time on these devices than they do on a desktop computer [1][2]!

So, what's a responsible website owner to do? Designing a different website for every possible device can get very expensive. Even after spending time and money to create a device-specific site, there’s no guarantee that it will work on future devices. The industry's answer to this challenge is Responsive Design.

What is Responsive Design?

Responsive design is a thoughtful approach to website design that uses flexible layouts that will resize, or "respond", to the screen that displays them. Key information is prominently placed, while secondary details are hidden or repositioned to be out of the way. Text is resized to be more legible. On smaller devices, site navigation resembles controls found in mobile applications.

Responsive Design in Action

Below we see an example website based on a future release of the Franklin County Children Services website. It contains many features common to websites produced by the Data Center: A prominent navigation bar with drop-down menus, a rotating slideshow, and easily accessible links to contact information and social media. While these are all expected in a desktop layout, on a smaller screen, they can become overwhelming.

Responsive Design desktop

Here is the same site, with responsive code, as seen on a tablet and phone.

Responsive Design mobile

The long navigation menu has been converted into a single vertical drop-down. Columns of content that used to run side-by-side are now stacked vertically, allowing for a clear prioritization of information. Details like social media links are still present, but have been moved further down the page or "below the fold". Elements that once required a mouse hover to activate, such as a drop-down menu, now activate with a touch. Finally, the site avoids using technologies like Adobe Flash, which are not always available on mobile browsers.

The Search Factor

Responsive design has been valuable from the moment mobile devices became prominent, but a more recent development has brought it to the forefront: mobile search. Google now directs mobile traffic to sites that are specifically designed to work well on those devices. This may make the difference between a visitor finding your site or missing out entirely.

What's Next?

As technology needs change, the Data Center has evolved with them. Responsive design is now a standard feature on all of our new websites. Responsive design requires a little extra work on the front end, but as website traffic becomes increasingly mobile-focused, it should pay off for years to come!

Agency Spotlight

Clerk of Courts Passport Services

If traveling abroad is in your future, the Clerk of Courts can process your passport application. See the video below for more information on this helpful service.

Did You Know...

2015 Ohio Digital Government Summit

By Max Starner, Client Executive Manager, Franklin County Data Center

The 2015 Ohio Digital Government Summit will be held on September 16th and 17th at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. The conference is presented by Government Technology and it offers an excellent occasion for members of the IT profession to participate in information technology discussions, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities with technology vendors. The gathering of these resources enables Summit attendees to remain informed on current IT trends and issues.

2015 Summit Topics Include:

  • Innovation and Leadership
  • Digital Government Trends
  • Emerging Technologies
  • Mobility and Citizen Engagement
  • Data and Analytics
  • Cyber Security
  • Cloud Services
  • Collaboration

The Data Center has purchased a limited supply of tickets, which are being offered to Franklin County IT staff on first-come, first-served basis. If you are interested in attending the 2015 Ohio Digital Government Summit, please e-mail your request to registration@franklincountyohio.gov. The deadline to request tickets is September 4, 2015.

Source:
Ohio Digital Government Summit 2015. Accessed July 2015. http://www.govtech.com/events/Ohio-Digital-Government-Summit.html.

Data Center Room Reservations

By Jade Overstreet, Administrative Assistant, Franklin County Data Center

Room Reservations

At the Data Center, we make it a goal to provide innovative and highly efficient services to all of our customers. In order for our agencies to have sufficient space to conduct their business processes, we provide multiple venues for meetings, gatherings, special events, and trainings, which are all available to reserve. Two spaces in particular, the FCDC Auditorium and the FCDC Training Room, offer a wide variety of equipment and tools to enhance your guests’ experiences. Below is information on both of these useful spaces.

FCDC Auditorium
The FCDC Auditorium (9th floor, 373 South High) is great for large events of 30-70 people. It has 75 rolling chairs, 24 two-seat tables, a projector, a microphone and amplification equipment, a computer, and wireless internet access. If a special setup is needed, or if the reserving agency requires assistance using the projector or sound system, a HEAT ticket detailing that information must be submitted to CSC@franklincountyohio.gov a week before the event. Furthermore, if technical assistance is needed immediately before or during the event, the HEAT ticket should specify those requirements as well.

FCDC Training Room
The FCDC Training Room is a great resource for small trainings of 14 people or less. This space is equipped with 14 computers, as well as a projector which is connected to a computer for the training instructor to use for presentations. All of the computers have internet access and county user log-in capabilities. If special software needs to be installed on the computers for the training, please submit a HEAT ticket to CSC@franklincountyohio.gov a week before the event to give our technicians enough time to fulfill the request.

Reservations
To reserve either the FCDC Auditorium or FCDC Training Room, contact the FCDC Admin at 614-525-3208 to discuss availability. If the room requested is available, the agency or group shall designate a contact person, providing the FCDC Admin with his or her name, agency, phone number, and email address. Once the room is reserved, a confirmation email will be sent to the contact person. All reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis. All reservations must be made within our normal business hours of 8:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday.

IT Leadership Forum

Reminder

The Franklin County IT Leadership Forum will be August 6th from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 in the Data Center Auditorium. Representatives from Dell, HP and AirWatch will discuss Mobile Enterprise Strategy.