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Manchester City Council launches new website following consumer research


By Gillian West, Social media manager

May 1, 2013 | 3 min read

Manchester City Council has released a new look website, redesigned to be simpler and quicker for residents to use.

The redesign follows research into what people want to do with the visit the councils site, ensuring that visitors will be able to find what they are looking for within a few clicks. The new site has been built using responsive technology to recognise which type of device visitors are using and adjust accordingly.

The design of the previous site, which was four years old, was found to be outdated and difficult to navigate particularly on mobile. The new design has removed the column of text and replaced these with clear icons guiding users to the pages they need. As 80 per cent of those surveyed during the research indicated they used the site to carry out a specific task, such as pay a bill, the new site has been design with this in mind.

“We've looked carefully at what residents actually use our website for and redesigned it with their needs in mind. It's also been tested by real people who tell us that they find it refreshingly easy to use. The way people use the internet has changed dramatically, and as half of all visits to our website will be made using tablets and smart phones within a couple of years, we've made sure it can be used easily on these devices as well as more traditional computers. Having a well-designed website is therefore hugely beneficial,” commented Councillor Nigel Murphy, executive member for environment for Manchester City Council.

Information on task and services is clearly displayed on the site which was trialled with Manchester-based research company Keep It Useable before its launch. Of the feedback received, Lisa Duddington, head of research for Keep It Useable, said: “Everyone was very positive about the new direction and it was evident that a well-designed council site improves people's perception of the council and changes their behaviour. The site was so easy and quick to use that people who traditionally always called the council said they would now use the website."

Lee Pilmore, head of creative for content management system, Jadu, which the site uses, added: “This website demonstrates the benefits of true collaboration. Design and web teams at Manchester City Council looked after creative decisions and content, while Jadu took care of the website structure design. All decisions were based on sound research and feedback from local residents.”


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