Mayor unveils new user-friendly website
A revamped website for the Mayor of London and the London Assembly has gone live today in a bid to keep Londoners better informed about key decisions affecting their city.
The new London.gov.uk website features an easier user experience and a more engaging design. Content has been written in plain English and the site includes a much-improved search facility so Londoners can keep up-to-date with the work of the Mayor and the London Assembly.
The aim is to encourage more Londoners to use the site, get involved in their city and have their say on the decisions that affect them.
The new site includes a brand new ‘In My Area’ section where Londoners can explore a treasure trove of local information about life in their neighbourhood including details of local schools and parks, major planning applications, volunteering opportunities and how to contact their local London Assembly member.
Since July, visitors to the City Hall website have been able to test out a ‘beta’ site which gave users the opportunity to experience the new site under development and get a flavour of what is to come. Over 39,000 users tried out the beta site and more than 200 people provided feedback on what areas they found useful and engaging and areas which they felt needed more work.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Our website should be the first port of call for Londoners who want to find out more about the decisions that affect where they live, so it’s vital that the site is easy to navigate and packed with useful information. As well as keeping people up to speed, our brand new website will encourage Londoners to get involved and have their say on what’s happening in their city.”
Chair of the London Assembly, Jennette Arnold OBE AM said: “Keeping pace with technology is a constant challenge – but it’s an absolute necessity for any organisation which has a lot to say for Londoners. It’s also absolutely imperative that you know exactly how the London Assembly works for you. A simple, straightforward website is one of the best ways of keeping you informed with what goes on at City Hall. We hope you enjoy the new experience and make the most of the information on offer.”
The direction that the design and user experience of the new site took was based entirely on user feedback. The Mayor’s Office commissioned research in 2014 to help understand what Londoners and other audiences wanted from the City Hall website. This revealed that Londoners knew relatively little about the work that goes on in City Hall, with many feeling that the old site was often difficult to navigate, with information presented in a complex and technical manner.
The revamped website has been built in the spirit of the ‘Digital by default Service Standard’, a new set of principles introduced by Government that aim to ensure that digital teams build high quality user-focused websites.
The site has been built using Drupal, an open source content management platform.