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A scalable modular web experience for1the City of Subiaco.

Local government websites are typically content heavy with prehistoric design. The City of Subiaco wanted a digital solution to support their communications strategy, evolving the way a local council interacts with their community and in turn better serve their residents through online resources.

Starting with a series of workshops, user personas were created, with desires, needs and requirements all documented and agreed. This provided the foundation for a new user-driven design built to engage local residents. The goal was to help users find what they needed quickly, and rather than simply check their bin days, residents would also see all that the City of Subiaco offers for its residents. 

Developed using Kentico Xperience, this DXP (digital experience platform) provided the right technology to  not just support users on the front end, but also be highly efficient for administrators to manage content independently.

“The City of Subiaco had a strong community focus. At the core of their project they wanted to make sure that they were meeting a wide range of user needs with their website, and showcasing all the features (support) they offered to resident and visitors alike. The new website is a dynamic and proactive approach for a local council who is actively engaging with their community both online and offline.” 

Kentico Xperience widgets unlocked huge efficiency gains.

The website has been built with a clear template and widget-based methodology. This can be seen through the design as pages are kept consistent in look, with freedom in content curation. The City of Subiaco can regularly update and expand their website without losing the original look and feel. Areas of the website are represented through colour themes, with elements such as background colours, hyperlinks and CTA buttons taking on a new tone to highlight to users they are in a specific area of the site. Training was provided across departments allowing more staff members to update content, reducing bottlenecks and increasing the timely use of the website.

As a widget-based website, the City of Subiaco can independently manage their website content using all the elements and features that have been created. The information architecture has been thought out and validated via design workshops, and further confirmed through user testing and feedback workshops. It not only has an interactive design, but also features some customised features to enhance user experiences.

The main features every council website needs… 

To sum up the new City of Subiaco in a few dot points would not do it justice, the functional requirements document was over 9000 words (25 pages worth) with 126 detailed requirements to be delivered through the website. Services engaged through Dapth included discovery, person creation, user experience design, information architecture creation, prototyping, website development, integration development, hosting support, testing and training. A brief snapshot of key areas of the site included:

  • Agendas and minutes lookup – This gives members of the public direct access to documentation with a handy widget to narrow down results.
  • Events integration – Using both Eventbrite and Kentico as two sources of event information, there is an active sync that allows the City of Subiaco to display all events in one place on the website. 
  • News area – A highly engaging and modern experience for a user to view and stay in the loop with the latest activity at the City of Subiaco.
  • Online services list – One simplified landing page that features all the online resources that can be accessed by a resident.

Look at the change from old to new.

Are you planning your own local council website evolution?

From scoping to next stage, we will continue to work with the City of Subiaco to evolve their website solution, with the next feature planned for deployment being a parking map widget that shows all the parking areas available within the city. It leverages a Google map integration with markings to show the exact areas where people can park plus further details such as metered times, payment methods and even live current pricing. The council will also continue to train their various internal teams so that more staff members can manage content, along with workflows, they can scale and grow their site in a controlled manner to continually serve their community.

If you are looking to create a tender document for your local council website, need help with scoping, or general recommendations. Talk to us about how we have helped the City of Subiaco, and many others, join the digital revolution.

Local council websites have strict criteria on data protection and security. As such open source or plugin-based sites expose them to risks that are all avoided with Kentico. Another benefit is the Kentico uses a .Net framework, making it much easier to customise and to use any developer to make changes. Certain web platforms require niche programming languages, and as such much harder for client to be independent (backing them into a corner with their developer). Kentico offer the best hybrid approach for an enterprise level system; lower subscription cost (compared to similar options), easier to find .Net developers who can use the system, very intuitive content management function with widget based model, highly secure and handles heavy user traffic with ease.

Yes, our consultants help with scoping of council website regularly. Whether you are looking to make minor adjustments, a design face lift, or a complete website rebuild (or migration), we can help. Our foresight will help you document key items often missed, ensure that it technology agnostic (not based on the limitations of a specific technology) and challenge reactive thinking with the goal of creating a proactive digital road map of which your new website incorporates.

Depending on the resources within your council, we can work with your IT team to ensure the right set up is in place, or we can help with fully managed or shared servers that adhere to the strict requirements and standards that Australian council websites must adhere to.

Sometimes a major rebuild isn’t possible, or you’ve already done considerable work and simply want to evolve your site with new features. Our development team work as an extension of your team. You may already know what you require and are simply looking for a website developer to do some coding magic. We are a flexible and adaptable team, working alongside clients to meet goals as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Enough about us. 

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