On 27 April we launched our new look website, one week ahead of schedule. A website is never finished but this is an exciting milestone and we’re really proud of the new site.

As you may have read in previous blogs, we’ve built our website around user needs with the aim of making it easier to get things done and find information. At the moment the new site has the information and services that the data tells us our users access most often, with other pages still hosted on the old site. More content will be added over the next few weeks and we’ll continue to revise and improve the content that’s already up.

The site is built with Drupal 8, the first time we’ve used an open source product. We’re excited about learning from and contributing to this community.

The look and feel of the site is a huge improvement, and the site looks modern and clean while making it easy for users to access the things they’re looking for most often. The hard work we put in early on to work with users to design the look and feel of the site gave us a really clear and agreed aim, so working with the developer to make it real was a lot easier.

One of the things getting in the way of a great user experience on the old site was the sheer volume of content – over 3,000 pages. The current site has less than 1,000, and although it will grow, by sticking strictly to our content principles we can make sure it remains a useful place to get things done, not a dumping ground. This will take discipline from the whole organisation, but it will be worth it and give a much better impression of the Council to our residents.

Not everything has gone exactly as we wanted over the course of the project but by taking a design approach, it has been executed thoughtfully, purposefully and enjoyably from the start. The Digital and Web team have worked incredibly hard over the last few months along with the service areas who have been re-writing content, and we’ll continue to do so into the future to build on the great work we’ve started.

new website

The new site