In August 2015, the City of Boston set out to re-imagine the City’s digital front door — — with the goal of building a digital presence that could change the way residents viewed and interacted with government. Over the course of three months, the Digital Team met with residents and people in City Hall. We released a pilot site to begin testing ideas in public. We built on that pilot every couple weeks until it was ready to replace the old website just seven months later on July 20, 2016. The website is now dramatically more accessible. It’s mobile responsive, has a 9-10th grade reading level (down from a post-graduate level), and meets all AA WCAG guidelines for accessibility. The redesign also included a new brand and visual identity, which was made publicly available for others to learn about and build on. Less visible but equally important was the update to the website’s backend. We built on Drupal and moved hosting to the cloud. This removes the risk of the site going down due to heavy traffic when people need it the most.

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