Digital York

Client Profile

York

New website design and development

City of York Council needed a website to provide information on its innovative scheme to provide the city with superfast, gigabit broadband. We designed, developed and delivered a sleek and modern ‘Digital York’ website that’s intuitive, informative, and easy to use.

Here’s how we did it…

THE PROJECT BRIEF AND PROCESS

An online showcase to inform residents and visitors of York’s digital infrastructure

City of York Council put in place a series of innovative technological initiatives designed to put this historic city firmly at the forefront of digital connectivity in Europe, and it needed a website to showcase what’s on offer to residents and visitors alike.

And so the idea of the Digital York website was born – a hub of up-to-date information offering advice on how to make the most of York’s connected city status, while also outlining how the scheme was funded and reporting on any forthcoming initiatives.

In addition to being a public portal, the site also needed a secure front-end area, accessible only to members of the Digital York board. Each member would need a profile containing their name, username, password, email and contact details, all of which could be easily amended whenever necessary.

With these objectives clearly outlined, it was up to the team at EdgeThreeSixty to produce an eye-catching, responsive and accessible website, to promote digital inclusion and initiatives to encourage exploitation of emerging York’s world-class infrastructure.

In short, the main objectives of the new Digital York website were:

  • Provide information on the city’s affordable and accessible world-class digital infrastructure.
  • Promote dialogue between York’s residents, business community and partner organisations.
  • An easy-to-use CMS for managing and updating content
  • A secure area for members of the Digital York Board.

The brief also specifically requested a modern, professional and light feel to the website’s design, as well as some custom functionality including an interactive map, document download facility and contact forms.

We decided a user-centred approach would be the best way to meet the client’s objectives of a sleek website that could accommodate both written and video content, and be straightforward to use at both the front and back ends.

The team at EdgeThreeSixty implemented a variety of technologies and user-experience (UX) techniques, leveraging the expertise of the senior designers and developers as part of the project’s discovery phase.

The Users

  • Business owners

  • York residents

  • Digital York board members

Project Plan

THE STRATEGY

As with all EdgeThreeSixty designs, the on-site search engine optimisation (SEO) formed part of the initial planning process, and the ongoing SEO assessment ensured the following factors were all implemented:

  • Structure: URL structure, navigation and canonicalization
  • Content: page structure, titles, META information, duplication and internal linking
  • Redirects: 301, 302 and canonical etc
  • Htaccess: directory level file setup
  • Indexing: crawl instructions and robots.txt files
  • Sitemaps: XML and HTML
  • Google setup: Analytics and Webmaster Tools
  • Bing setup: Webmaster Tools
  • Keywords: strategy, selection, presence, density and conversion

The SEO and development team collaborated to ensure the front-end and back-end of the site were optimised and search engine ready. These elements would be monitored and improved as part of any ongoing SEO campaign.

THE DESIGN

After presenting the Digital York Board with mock-ups and wireframes of what we envisioned the new site to contain and look like, it was decided an Umbraco platform would best suit the needs and expectations of all users.

As an Umbraco Certified Partner, the site was designed and developed by our team of UX design professionals and .net developers and delivered on the following:

  • Responsive design
  • High security
  • Fast download speeds
  • High levels of accessibility
  • A full digital service (design, development & marketing)

The site map below outlines the structure of the proposed site, which would be both secure and easy-to-use to allow for changes to the structure and layout of the site, and enable content to be updated when necessary.

Information Architecture

View Sitemap

Wireframes

THE RESULT

The EdgeThreeSixty team came up with a sleek, professional looking and easy-to-use website that met the ambitions of the Digital York Board, the requirements of its users, and reflected York’s status as one of Europe’s leading digital cities.

We successfully delivered a site that ticked all of the following boxes:

  • Umbraco site built by certified developers
  • Visually impactful website design
  • High speed website
  • Custom functionality

Here’s how the new website looks today…

We love the new website – it fits the bill perfectly and we like how responsive it is.