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Hutch graduates team up to transform BaltimoreCity.gov

Baltimorecity.gov, Baltimore City’s municipal website, receives over 40 million page views and 12.5 million visits every year.

Whether visitors are looking to pay a parking ticket, request a pothole repair, or browse the latest news about the City, the website is an important tool filled with essential services. With residents, businesses, and tourists visiting the site every day, it needs to be accessible and functional for everyone. 

Hutch parent company Fearless is proud to announce a contract with Baltimore City to help it do just that. This 9-month contract for a redesigned website will focus on ease-of-use, accessibility, and visitor experience. Along with the digital services agency XCell (Hutch class of 2020) and the design agency Points North Studio(Hutch class of 2022), the Fearless-led team is supporting Baltimore City and its residents by creating a robust and functional online experience. 

Baltimorecity.gov is an important resource for residents, businesses, and visitors. But, it’s not currently meeting its full potential. The website lacks a cohesive look and feel. And using the search function can be confusing and lead to the wrong results. Overall, it’s in need of a redesign that will center accessibility, improve online functions, and be usable on all devices and browsers. 

The team will help make Baltimorecity.gov a one-stop shop for citywide information and services. We’ll take an iterative, agile, and human-centered approach to update their content management system (CMS) from Drupal 7 to Drupal 10. We’ll also prioritize an intuitive and search-friendly design for all visitors. And, to ensure the website is designed for Baltimore City residents, we’ll establish a User Engagement Community. This will be made up of Baltimore City website redesign stakeholders and real users. 

A ‘resident design approach’ for BaltimoreCity.gov

“What’s unique about this contract is that we’re taking what I call a ‘resident design approach,’” says Felix Gilbert, the founder and owner of XCell. “This means that we’ll be focusing on the residents and the community of Baltimore.” This will allow Baltimore City residents to “influence how the government meets their needs while also demonstrating how other cities can better meet the needs of their communities.”

“Whether it’s trying to pay a parking ticket or finding out about road closures, everyone knows what it feels like to not have access to the information you need,” says Jessica Watson, the CEO and Creative Director of Points North Studio. “We’re excited about this partnership and the opportunity to take a deeper look at the current user behaviors and interactions with BaltimoreCity.gov. But we’re also committed to going right to the heart of the matter, having important conversations with Baltimore City residents and stakeholders.” 

Fearless and Hutch are proud to support Baltimore City in their efforts to make Baltimorecity.gov an accessible one-stop shop.

Fearless’ Robert Testerman says the project will focus on “customer experience to ensure positive interactions with this government website.” This work will also “directly help local government staff as well as Baltimore City residents who turn to the website every day.” 

With this project, we’re ensuring the website meets the needs of the City’s businesses, residents, and visitors. We’re also directly impacting the lives of Baltimore City residents and create an experience that inspires change. 

Securing your business and strong password policy

Hector Peralta is the founder of BlackRose Cyber Solutions and is part of the 2023 class of Hutch.

In today’s digital age, strong passwords are critical for protecting your online accounts and sensitive information. But with so many passwords to remember and cyber threats constantly evolving, it can take time to know where to start when it comes to creating a strong password policy. In 2020, a major multinational company suffered a data breach when hackers were able to guess the passwords of several employees, resulting in the loss of sensitive customer data. This is just one example of how weak passwords can leave organizations vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

As a military cybersecurity veteran, I’ve seen firsthand the importance of strong passwords in defending against cyber threats, and I’ve learned a few key lessons along the way. In this article, I’ll share some of my insights on how to choose secure passwords, store them safely, and implement a strong password policy in your organization.

Head over to Medium for tips on choosing strong passwords and best practices for storing passwords safely.