Creating a device agnostic experience for the City of Burnaby website

Organization: City of Burnaby | Project focus: UX, responsive web| Role: UX designer |Year: 2015

01 | Summary

The City of Burnaby is one of Metro Vancouver’s largest municipalities. As a government body, engagement with the public is key and the website is one of the primary touchpoints that the organization and citizens use for engaging with one another.

Analytics showed that 48% of web traffic was via mobile devices. At the time, the website was not optimized for mobile experience. This meant that citizens were receiving an undesirable user experience as they tried to access information on the go.

It became a priority for the City provide a multi-device optimized experience for and the City’s own Web Services Team was engaged to lead this project.

02 | The Process

We took a comprehensive process within the Web Services team as summarized in the below diagram.


There were a number of challenges that this project faced including the following:

  • A legacy Content Management System
  • A legacy of existing content
  • Multiple content contributors, which can affect user experience
  • Inconsistent standards of how content is delivered and accessed
  • Integrations of multiple web applications without consistent UX patterns, branding standards and multi-device optimization
  • Integrations of multiple microsites without consistent UX patterns, branding standards and multi-device optimization

03 | The Design

Through the Discovery process we saw that an adaptive design approach was ideal given the challenges with a legacy CMS and an existing website.

Through the content audit, we determined key page elements and how to treat them adaptively, including what types of patterns to utilize as viewports decreased such as:

  • Progressive disclosure through use of components such as flipcards, accordions, etc
  • When to hide content completely
  • Table treatment

04 | The Outcomes

  • An multi-device optimized that allowed provided citizens with an optimized experience regardless of device
  • Brought the City to up to date standards for digital engagement
  • Opportunities to engage with and provide recommendations to various departments and content on content strategy for improved UX
  • Increased collaboration across departments, breaking down silos

05 | The Team

Web Services Team, City of Burnaby

Carolyn Pang, Project Manager | Farhad Deboo, Project Manager | Renée Mak, UX/Visual Designer | Connie Lee, UX Designer | Max Sergeyenko, UX Designer | Jeffrey Zhou, Developer