Further to my previous blog posts on CMS in English Local Authorities, CMS used by Scottish Local Authorities and CMS used by local authorities in the UK I have created a map of CMS used by Welsh Local Authorities.
Further to my previous blog posts on CMS in English Local Authorities and CMS used by Scottish Local Authorities I have now created a map showing CMS used in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately I had to start from scratch again so this took quite a long time and was a bit laborious, but I hope it will prove useful. I have ordered the map by web content management system. I have listed selected the most used CMS and then added a catch all for the remaining CMS. There are just so many different CMS that its impossible to plot them all as separate sections on Google maps. I only found seven local authorities where I couldn’t detect the CMS that they use. If anyone can help with any of these please contact me via Twitter. Equally if you find any errors please do let me know.
Local authority boundaries used in the map were sourced from the Office for National Statistics licensed under Open Government Licence v.3.0. Many thanks to the ONS for sharing such a useful map.
I’m still planning to create a separate map for CMS used by Welsh local authorities as I promised I’d do this in a previous blog post. Then I think I’ll move onto a new topic and I have some really good ideas on what to focus my personal research, that I think will be very interesting to work on. Watch this space!
Further to my previous blog post on CMS in English Local Authorities I have created a map showing CMS used in Scottish Local Authorities. In due course I’ll also look to do the same for Welsh Local Authorities and then hopefully a combined UK CMS map. These maps are very much a first draft and I’ll look to make improvements over time.
I’ve managed to identify most CMS used by Scottish Local Authorities. There is now just one gap, namely Clackmannanshire. If anyone knows what content management system this council uses then please let me know (if they use a CMS of course).
Five years ago I very much doubt if we would have considered an open source web content management system (CMS). About a year and a half ago that all changed as we looked to find a replacement for our existing proprietary CMS, feeling that the time had come to find an alternative which would give us the flexibility to develop and design websites ourselves. We chose to trial the use of Drupal, an open source platform, built, used, and supported by an active and diverse community of people around the world.
When we started our journey with Drupal we had just achieved fours stars in the SOCITM Better Connected Review. So why did we consider this fundamental change at this time? Well, we wanted the freedom to develop and change our website to meet ever changing requirements and public expectations. The biggest driver initially was to allow us to develop a fully responsive website to meet our residents ever increasing need for mobile access. We developed a separate mobile site, which partly meets the demand – http://m.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/home but we now really to provide a single website which can be accessed from any given device.
Mobile usage of the Bracknell Forest Council website has been increasing to a point where mobile and desktop use is greater month on month than desktop use. The pie chart shows the annual split between mobile, tablet and desktop usage. Over 50% of people now choose not to use a desktop PC or laptop to access our public website. In some months the split has been even greater and I anticipate that this will continue to grow.
Developing a responsive website needs to go beyond building websites that adapt to all screen sizes. In a recent article Dan Gardner and Mike Treff talked of the need to consider developing a ‘responsive philosophy’ as today ‘users expect online experiences that not only respond to what device they’re using, but also their location, time of day, what they’ve already read and events happening in real time’. (see http://m.fastcodesign.com/3036091/the-next-big-thing-in-responsive-design). This concept throws up all sorts of opportunities which we’d like to explore further, but equally a wide range of constraints, particularly relating to the flexibility of a CMS to meet these new expectations.
Changing the presentation of a website to meet changing requirements and needs cannot always be easily sorted in CMS which will generally use a limited number of fixed templates. Over the last few years design and usability wisdom has suggested that websites uniformly present content simply and consistently – to try to make the experience simpler and more intuitive. I fully subscribe to this view, but I also think that it can make the experience a little dull and repetitive. Government websites need to focus on simplicity and pare down unnecessary navigation and design to encourage users not only to view the content that they present but to engage and transact.
But does one size fit all in terms of design in government websites? I am starting to have my doubts about this. So I am currently working on a different approach which offers more flexibility in terms of design, but one which keeps the customer as the main focus and fully considers usability. Our new council website will be designed to provide a consistent journey, but include some flexibility on presentation to add visual interest and help to sell those services that need to be actively marketed (such as Leisure).