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  • Success Story
  • Cabarrus County, NC

How Cabarrus County, NC improved the user experience with OpenCities

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Cabarrus County in North Carolina is a fast-growing community of nearly 230,000 people, just north of Charlotte. The county’s growth can be attributed to its four core values – family, faith, collaboration, and tradition – and this strong sense of community has resulted in success for Cabarrus County; it received the 2022 Government Experience Award and placed first on the Digital County Survey twice. Cabarrus County implemented the Granicus OpenCities platform to deliver an intuitive, user-friendly website experience and to foster collaboration.

“Our expectation is you shouldn’t have a different experience working with your government than you do with retailers. Our constituents push us to innovate and that’s why the work we’ve done with OpenCities and Granicus has been so important to us.”
Todd Shanley, CIO, Cabarrus County


  • 47% increase in ADA compliance
  • 12% growth in daily traffic
  • 20% increase in average time on page
  • Greater internal collaboration
Must have Granicus Solutions

Implementing Website Solutions for Enhanced Efficiency

Cabarrus County made it a priority to deliver effective and efficient services to its constituents while creating a collaborative process between its internal departments. County officials wanted to create a site that is easier to use and sought a quicker, more accurate search function. The county believes government should be responsive and provide a similar experience to that of dealing with popular retailers. Cabarrus County officials wanted to create a balanced website presence so that residents and corporate partners alike would have a user-friendly experience.


A More Collaborative Experience Leads to Greater Access

Furthering public engagement in Cabarrus County required a more intuitive website design. Cabarrus County recognized the importance of efficiently delivering information and services to its residents while encouraging internal collaboration, and OpenCities provided the necessary tools to accomplish these goals. The OpenCities digital solution ensured that each county department was responsible for updating its own pages; it no longer fell to one person. With each department taking ownership of its pages, content is updated in a timelier fashion, ensuring residents were receiving the most accurate information.

OpenCities also made it possible for Cabarrus County to increase the accessibility of its website, reducing the number of issues by 47%. The digital solution gave county officials the ability to easily tag images, ensuring those using assistive technology and accessibility tools while interacting with the site have a good experience. Additionally, Cabarrus County uses the translate tool in OpenCities to provide the website in other languages, including Spanish and Chinese.


Transforming the User Experience with Digital Solutions

After implementing OpenCities, Cabarrus County is now able to deliver services to its residents in the way retail outlets do. It was imperative to the County that it was meeting residents’ expectations and OpenCities made that a reality. County officials state that site visits are up 12%, and anecdotally, the community seems pleased with the new digital experience. Bounce rates, combined with a 20% increase in the average time spent on pages, also indicate visitors are finding what they want faster and not spending short periods of time on the wrong page.

County leaders use the Insights tool in OpenCities to review site statistics and use the information to ensure pages are being clicked on and make changes to optimize the use of website real estate. This has led to increased engagement among the web team and has given staff more time to focus on bigger picture items. Cabarrus County was able to maximize its team’s time by implementing OpenCities.

“It’s hard to imagine in 2022 getting excited about a website but the [Open Cities] tools are helping us be better at what we’re doing.”
Todd Shanley, CIO, Cabarrus County