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Nicholas Franchino wins 2011 Exemplary Systems Award

Nicholas Franchino, 
Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning

Z-NET Project
(accepted by Mark Greninger)

Z NET Public gets it right. This deceptively simple web application provides a wealth of the most commonly sought planning information for the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County while requiring only rudimentary familiarity with online maps. Using the County's own beautiful cached maps, very high-resolution aerial imagery and distinctive tool icons, the application is also aesthetically pleasing.

The thought that went into designing for speed and simplicity is clear; the interface is flexible, yet uncluttered.  Z-NET Public has a very limited set of tools – all visible without menus – and all with familiar-looking icons. Liberal use of tool-tips and a well-illustrated help system further support ease-of-use. The web page containing this embedded application offers additional helpful information and links to other resources.

In its first month of public use, Z-NET Public is already the fifth most-visited page on the Department of Regional Planning website. The Department's planners, who were deeply involved in determining its features and evaluating its ease of use, have also enthusiastically received the application.