Planning the Western Cape Government mobile website


Just over a year ago I began my tenure at the Western Cape Government, joining Thomas Bevan, Marco Pretorius and Luke van Blerk on the provincial website programme. As the programme manager, my primary vision for the website was simple. It needed to have great usability on any device, publish great content and allow for easy social media sharing. But there was, and still is a hurdle in our way. The original CMS that the website had been built on is still being used after almost ten years is dying slowly, and we lack developer capacity to move to our new CMS standard, Drupal. While our team understands the value of e-government, we do still face some of the challenges I highlighted in this older post.

Despite the developer shortage, we started discussing our thoughts on what the mobile version of the provincial website would look like and how it would work. After doing a fair amount of research we realised that the best path for us to embark on is a hybrid of Responsive design and a feature phone optimised mobile theme.

The image below developed by our Usability and Design team shows our initial thoughts on how content is served to the user via a single CMS database

Responsive mobile web CMS government

Graphic via our Usability and Design Team showing our thoughts regarding Responsive and Mobile sites

With the increase in the number of internet capable device and their differing screen sizes, I agree with adopting the mantra of Create Once Publish Everywhere. With Fluid design we will be able scale and reposition this content as the device requires.

Responsive mobile web devices

Storyboarding responsive design across devices

In future posts I will elaborate more on our progress toward the provincial website we envision and how we hope to include citizen engagement via mobile devices. Let me know in the comments if there are other areas of our web development that you are interested in.


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