We sat down with Ken Smith, Web Communications Specialist at the City of Bryan, Texas, to talk about his work and passion for web accessibility.

Ken has been in his role for nearly 11 years, working closely with both the Communications and Marketing Department and the IT Department. The City of Bryan manages its website design, development, and production in-house, covering the main city website, the utilities website, the public library system, and their mobile app, which Ken himself developed.

He brings a multifaceted skill set to the table, with a background as a journalist, writer, editor, designer, and developer, making him the primary person responsible for managing the city’s website and its compliance with web governance standards, including ADA compliance.

In an era where digital presence is paramount, the City of Bryan, Texas, showcases a proactive approach to website management and accessibility. With a blend of design, analytics, and ADA compliance strategies, Ken and his team have set a new standard for how local government websites can serve their communities better. Here’s how they did it.

A fresh look and website redesign every three years

Recognizing the rapid pace of digital evolution, the City of Bryan commits to redesigning its main city website every three years. This proactive strategy ensures that the website remains relevant, user-friendly, and aligned with the latest web standards. Smith’s involvement spans various roles, from design and development to user experience and analytics, embodying a holistic approach to website management.

“I just can’t speak highly enough about Silktide. Having everything all in one place. It’s been a godsend for me. I can’t even imagine how much time Silktide has saved me just having data there to make my argument for me.”

Ken Smith

Web Communications Specialist – City of Bryan, Texas

Leveraging analytics and heatmaps for insightful redesign

Transitioning from traditional analytics tools like Google Analytics to Silktide’s comprehensive suite has been a game-changer for the City of Bryan. Silktide Analytics offers straightforward insights into key metrics such as visitor counts, page views, and clicks, which used to be time-consuming to obtain. More importantly, Silktide’s data maps—including click, scroll, and frustration maps—provide visual data that was previously unavailable.

These tools have been instrumental in the redesign process, allowing Smith and his team to make informed decisions about content structure and page layout based on actual user interaction. This approach has led to increased engagement, with certain promotions and events seeing significant uplifts in visibility and interaction.

“Silktide Analytics has given us the tools to make truly informed decisions, not just about what pages people are visiting, but how to structure those pages to give people the information that they are looking for first and foremost. We’ve probably increased page interaction 10 to 15% just in the short time we’ve had Silktide.”

Ken Smith

Web Communications Specialist – City of Bryan, Texas

ADA Compliance: A non-negotiable priority

ADA compliance is not just a legal requirement but a moral obligation for the City of Bryan. Smith emphasizes the importance of accessibility, not just for individuals with special needs but for all users. Silktide’s tools play a crucial role in ensuring that the city’s websites meet these standards. By continuously monitoring and scanning for compliance issues, Silktide helps the City of Bryan maintain a legally compliant and user-friendly website.

“That peace of mind of knowing that you’ve got a product that is built for this, and to make sure that not only is everything legally compliant, but also that it’s being done in the best practice. And it’s being done in a way that’s going to help usability for everybody”

Ken Smith

Web Communications Specialist – City of Bryan, Texas

The impact of Silktide

Since implementing Silktide, the City of Bryan has seen tangible improvements in its digital presence. Page interactions have increased by 10 to 15%, a testament to the effectiveness of the data-driven redesign and content optimization strategies. Furthermore, the ability to conduct A/B testing and receive immediate feedback has streamlined the process of making continuous improvements.


The City of Bryan’s journey underscores the significance of embracing technology to enhance digital services. Through a commitment to regular redesigns, leveraging advanced analytics, and prioritizing ADA compliance, the city has set a benchmark for local governments. Silktide’s suite of tools has been central to this transformation, proving that with the right resources, cities can significantly improve how they interact with their communities online.

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