Back End Development
1. Does DCA require an open-source Content Management System, or would the Department be amenable to a closed-source solution?
We do prefer an open-source CMS (including WordPress, Drupal, or alike). But we are willing to consider proposals that argue for a closed CMS. Our preferences stems from our plans to build out the system from the site in the future. Open-source systems have a larger user and developer community. We hope to be able to leverage the collective knowledge of the software community so as to ensure that we have capacity to maintain the back end of the site after the duration of the contract.
2. Are there any integration requirements for this project, outside of what is mentioned in the RFP? Specifically, are there any third party systems, internal databases, etc. that will be required to integrate with the website for the purpose of sending/receiving information?
No, at this point in the project, we do not anticipate any backend integration of other systems or internal databases into the new system.
3. Can you outline the types of transactions that the eCommerce solution would need to process? Do you currently have an online payment gateway? What payment types do you want to allow?
This web redesign project is the beginning of our efforts to offer digital services. We are essentially starting from ground zero. We don’t currently have an online payment gateway. We very much like the idea of web-based class registration forms for our community arts centers with the capacity of processing online payments. We also are open to ideas on how we can eventually have a system to administer our grants application program. For the proposal, we are looking for vendor’s recommendations for ecommerce solutions (in-house development, subcontractor, external product, etc) and the costs for these potential buildouts. These descriptions can be brief. We would like to gauge the likelihood of a continued partnership with a vendor based on their capacity and the availability of our future budget.
Content, Social Media, Calendar, Language
4. Could you provide a little more detail on the nature of the social media integration that you want site visitors to be able to do? Posting specific items to the social media? Anything else?
We expect that the site visitors can at the minimum would link to our various social media sites. We welcome recommendations for integration live feeds into the site. Currently, we have presence on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. And we have plans to develop our social media presence.
5. What sort of content-related assistance do you require?
We envision a series of focus group meetings and/or interviews with our staff to help organize and articulate the story for the website. We hope that the vendor will help us scaffold our content generation by providing us with guiding questions, templates, and/or examples. And yes, we do expect in addition, staff training on using the CMS to add content and administer the site.
6. Who do you expect to be adding events information to your calendar? What sort of approval workflow do you need for this?
We envision a calendar system that has a submission system not for the entire public, but only for our grantees (local artists and arts organizations), members of our community art centers, and partnered organizations who regularly contribute information for our publications (heritage month calendars and annual festival guides). This system should have a submission form. And our Marketing staff expects to approve the submission as event information is entered into the system.
7. Can you tell us more about the kinds of maps you want to incorporate into the site, and whether you would like them to be interactive and scalable or static?
Much of what we do is geographically bound. We envision maps that display the locations of our public art programs and community arts would help the users see the scope and impact of our services. A scalable, interactive map would be preferred over a static one. But we’re open to suggestions.
8. Will the initial launch be in English only? In what timeframe might you want the additional languages?
Yes, we plan to launch the site in English first. We hope that in the future, we can consider multilingual integration as a buildout. It would be helpful for your firm to provide the cost estimate for such an option if your firm can provide that service for us in the future.
User Experience, Front End Design
9. When do you expect the user experience testing?
User experience is key to how we delivery our services. We expect to engage in user experience and interface test during the soft launch period. We want our vendor to not only conduct these tests, but also to leverage the test data to improve the user interface design for the final launch.
10. Do you have any kind of existing Style Guide?
At this point, we are not looking for a complete rebranding for DCA. We do have a logo but we are not tied to all guidelines provided by our current Style Guide. We are open to design recommendations that reference our current logo. We hope that our vendor will experiment with our current logo and related materials.
11. What information does the DCA already know about their users and target audience?
Our existing site draws over 3 million non-unique visitors annually. We have web analytics of the existing site from an ITA-managed analytics system called Urchin. This information, however, is harder to interpret than the common parlance standardized by Google Analytics. Once the contract is secured, we will be happy to share information from Urchin.
12. Who are the key stakeholders and team members that will be involved directly in the website redesign project and what are their roles?
We hope that our vendor will help us structure the workflow and staff resources for the project in fact. As of now, we know that there will be three co-leaders on the project — two are members of DCA’s senior staff and a fellow. Other staff members, especially of the Senior staff, will be the direct informants for shaping the actual project scoping by the vendor once the contract is determined. And yes, we imagine that members of the non-senior staff will be involved as content providers once an approval structure for web publication is in place.
Meta-data, Search Engine Optimization
13. Do you have an SEO partner or someone internally who manages SEO on an ongoing basis?
We don’t currently have an SEO partner or an online reputation improvement system in place. We hope that this website is built to the common web searchability standards. We welcome recommendations for future services related to searchability.
Contract, Process, Evaluation
14. What is the specific term of the contract?
The term will be negotiated upon selection of a qualified vendor. That said, the initial term of the contract will likely run the duration of the development process until launch (preferably 3-6 months) and then extend one year beyond that time for technical support and maintenance. We may also include options to extend for additional maintenance and/or support services.
15. Is there a preference for vendors in the Los Angeles area?
Yes. Since we are a City Department, we must comply with Ordinance No. 181910 – Local Business Preference Program. The purpose of this program is to “encourage businesses to compete for City contracting opportunities, to locate operations in the City of Los Angeles, and to encourage existing local businesses to refrain from relocating to different, less expensive area.” By this mandate, we give scoring preferences to applicants with a workspace within LA County.