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Published on Thursday, September 10, 2015
Why are we doing this?
We've been tracking our audience moving in large numbers from accessing our site on computers towards predominantly using tablets and mobiles. In response to this, we have developed a new version of the City Council website which implements a responsive design so that we can offer all our users the best experience possible no matter what device they are using.
In releasing this new version of the site we'll be able to be more cost effective as we’ll only need to maintain one codebase instead of two separate codebases or maintain expensive apps (the current one isn’t optimised for all devices). Going responsive also enables us to ‘clean house’ and update the design of the site so that it can accommodate some of the exciting new features that we are looking to introduce.
We've been developing this new version in the open for quite a while now as a 'beta' which has had more than 1300 views on tablets and computers since we offered you the chance to 'opt-in' to get an early view of it in July. The video below highlights the improvements - as you can see, significant improvements have been made in the last few months to the design of the pages in terms of the improved layout, reduced content density, increased white space etc... These changes have been developed and tested iteratively with the audience in user testing sessions to ensure that we launch a product that meets the high standards that Carlisle City Council aim for.
We've also been listening to the feedback you have been providing to the blog posts which we've used to enhance the product ahead of its launch.
As mentioned above, we are planning to launch the responsive site to all devices on the 28th of September. We have received positive feedback to the responsive design via the testing but we are aware that for many users of the New site, the Monday launch will be the first time that many of you will have seen it.
From our combined experience of updating and relaunching our sites, we know that it sometimes takes a while to get used to changes like this. I'd encourage you to spend some time navigating around the updated site and should you have any feedback, please send it in either by responding to this blog post or by emailing [email protected]
I'm looking forward to learning what you all think of the new responsive site. Hopefully you'll find it to be an improvement over the existing version. Please note that we'll be making incremental updates every week from now so you will continue to see regular improvements being made to the site.
Tags: Ben Renucci