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Serpentine Jarrahdale Shire

We recently worked with the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale Shire to evolve their online presence. We approached the redesign with some user research to see what staff and residents wanted most from the site. Our design-led approach began with content strategy, and activities like card sorting to ensure the site would meet user needs. Our design prototypes allowed us to test our assumptions and iterate to create excellent user experiences.

  • user experience
  • constent strategy
  • websites
  • silverstripe
  • government

Key Outcomes

Easy to find everything

Right form the beginning we focused on the site’s information architecture with card sorting, interviews with department heads and an all-staff survey. The site features intuitive navigation with mega menus, instant search for Application Forms and on-page documents.

sjshire Easy to find everything


We worked hard with the Shire’s team to ensure the website showed the area’s rural appeal alongside its more cosmopolitan nature. The subtle textures and earthy tones ensures the site remains easy to read whilst incorporating the unique feeling of the area.

While the site is information heavy, we also wanted a way to ensure the site could still engage and maintain interest with images in a way that seamlessly integrated with whatever content was included.

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Local government sites don’t need to be boring. We carefully incorporated subtle animation so that you hardly know it’s there. Instant application form and document searching provides lightning fast perceived page performance, whist interactive maps allow visitors to engage with the Shire’s amenities.

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Silverstripe CMS

The site is built and administered using the simple-to-use Silverstripe CMS, which is popular among government for its stability, ease of use and extensibility.

By customising the admin interface, Shire employees are easily able to create new pages, attach documents and images simply, easily and effectively.

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The website aims to meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. In many cases, the site will be compliant to Level AA and Level AAA.

This enables access for disabled persons and non-standard software and hardware, including:

  • People with disabilities who may use assistive technologies
  • Those with slower internet connections or less than state-of-the-art equipment
  • Rural and regional users
  • Those with non-PC internet devices including hand held devices and mobile phones
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After lots of hard work and dedication by Shire employees and the team at Design City, we are delighted that the Shire’s new website has been launched.

Our goal with the new website was to provide our customers an easier way to learn about the services that the Shire offers and to allow our customers to browse information simply. The new website is interactive and completely optimized to be viewed on mobile and tablet devices, giving our customers improved access to What We Do, Who We Are, About SJ, News and Events and Your Say.

Some of my favourite new features of the website are the ability to search our Community Directory online, a dedicated Application Forms search to make finding our forms simpler and a redesigned News section that makes it easier to know what’s happening in the Shire.

Since our launch in October the feedback we have received from our employees and residents has been overwhelmingly positive. Shire employees are now finding it easier engage with our residents and this is has been evident not only in the positive feedback we have received but in the increase in traffic the website is now receiving.

Shanon Clark Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale

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