Welcome to alpha.phila.gov, the first step towards a government website that is simple, crisp, respectful, and delightful.

Your needs first.

Instead of designing from our own assumptions, we will start with the needs of our neighbors, the residents of Philadelphia. We will learn how people want to use phila.gov through regular usability testing and our web analytics.

Work in small chunks.

Instead of designing the entire site up front, we will break down development into manageable, two week iterations. This agile process allows us to develop quickly and provides flexibility to adjust to user feedback and (inevitable) unforeseen issues.

Be open and invite participation.

Instead of working behind closed doors and making the public wait for a grand reveal, we will build out in the open. This is an experimental prototype, a work in progress. It’s missing content. Parts of it are confusing. The design needs work. And that’s the point. We’re starting here, knowing it’s not perfect, but with the means to continually make it better.

The goal is to show you, our neighbors, where we’re starting and allow you to follow our progress. It gives you the opportunity to have input.

We need your help.

Here’s how you can be involved:

  1. Explore alpha.phila.gov.
  2. If you see an error or find content that doesn’t make sense, let us know.
  3. You can access our feedback form at the top and bottom of each page.
  4. Tell your neighbors! The more feedback we receive, the better.

Where do we go from here?

In our process, the “alpha” phase is for rapid prototyping and testing out ideas. As we get feedback from Philadelphia residents and government departments, we will discover a good path forward.

We will then move into the “beta” phase which is to ensure that these are ideas are implemented at scale.

Finally, the “live” phase is when we roll out fully to the public as the new phila.gov (but we continue to iterate and improve).