Transforming a government website with 200 content authors, tens of thousands of pages, and close to 100 different content templates into a responsive design system is tricky business. In 2013, we led a project to update and future-proof one of Canada’s fastest-growing municipalities’ main communication channel: Surrey.ca.
The responsive redesign achieved unanimous support from city staff, business stakeholders, council, and the mayor. Mobile traffic has increased by 300% since launch. The improved governance and content workflow processes have facilitated new collaborations between siloed City departments. The Surrey Web Team described this as one of the most positive changes in recent history for the City’s external and internal communication. Most importantly, it created a sense of cohesion through a wholehearted responsive design process.
This project required a new approach. We needed the ability to connect deeply with everyone on our project team: client, vendor, and audience. We needed to get comfortable with imperfection, and fight through difficult moments as a team. We let go of our usual need to protect ourselves and maintain control, and worked together to solve our responsive design and adaptive content problems. Our collaborative creativity was a catalyst for changing the way the City communicates.
Recorded at Code & Creativity on June 24, 2013.