City of Boston
In August 2015, the City of Boston set out to re-imagine the City’s digital front door — Boston.gov — with the goal of building a government website that is beautiful, welcoming, and highly useful.
The City of Boston worked with Acquia to develop an iterative approach to build Boston.gov with Drupal’s open source content management system. By adopting Drupal, the City can now utilize a large ecosystem of developers to adapt the website to users’ changing needs.
The new website also aimed to redefine what constituent engagement can and should look like. When the City launched the website, they also launched a roadmap for Boston.gov to share the work ahead and inspire the public to contribute their own ideas. Since launching, citizens have offered an outpouring of feedback. Of the 611 emails the City has received, 537 (88%) were actionable ideas for ways to improve the site.
Finally, the City of Boston has also released the boston.gov source code to the public domain. Anyone can see the code that makes Boston.gov work, point out problems, suggest improvements and use the code in their own community.
The City of Boston migrated more than 20,000 web pages and one million words to the new boston.gov. With the help of Acquia and partnering design company, IDEO, the website redesign was delivered under budget (less than $1 million) and on time (the new site launched 11 months after the kick-off meeting).
The result of the redesign project is a website that has dramatically improved the accessibility of information and services the City offers, and a marked shift in residents’ expectations of government. The website is mobile responsive, has a 9-10th grade reading level (down from a post-graduate level), and meets all AA WCAG guidelines for accessibility.