Why Devonport City bucked the trend of bespoke websites

Mayor Alderman Steve Martin wants simpler and quicker services for residents.

Devonport City in Australia has launched a new website, centred on citizen needs and bringing together services from across the Council. “Our main aim was to make it easier and faster for people to find what they were looking for on the site,” said Mayor Alderman Steve Martin. The Council partnered with civic website builders OpenCities to revamp its website. OpenCities provides a shared platform for councils to launch websites and digital functions. It allows Councils to provide online services without building bespoke websites and hiring external developers. The website makes it easier to access and navigate common tasks for citizens. “We’ve created a much simpler menu and layout that focus on Council’s core services and users’ top tasks,” Mayor Martin said. The website divides navigation into three key activities: ‘Live’ for family, youth and transport services’; ‘Work’ for businesses and events; and ‘Play’ for tourism and recreation. The Council is also able to spin out other websites when required for specific activities using the OpenCities platform. For instance, it has a separate website on a new urban renewal project in Devonport’s retail, business and waterfront area. It has also launched a dedicated online hub to consult with citizens on upcoming project. For example, it asked citizens to share how the council can use emerging technologies to improve its services. OpenCities has conducted a benchmarking study of over 550 Council websites in Australia to understand what works and what doesn’t. It is using these findings to develop a shared digital platform for all city councils. Download the benchmarking report below. This also gives access to a personalised report for every Council website. [download_form list_id="16ff399087"] Image by Synyan - CC BY 3.0