Located in the southern suburbs of Adelaide, the City of Marion is one of South Australia’s largest metropolitan councils. We were tasked with planning, designing and developing a website to meet the needs of the organisation and the expectations of its community. The project spanned the delivery of a corporate website with an integrated Elected Member portal and tourism website, and has set a new benchmark for council websites in South Australia.
Through the planning stages of the project, we collaborated with the City of Marion and consulted with a broad cross section of internal and external stakeholders to develop the project’s underlying digital strategy, aimed at improving the effectiveness of the website for the City of Marion’s internal teams and improving the customer experience for the community.
The City of Marion’s website now serves as a single, authoritative source of information and offers a personalised customer experience to visitors by presenting localised content — including events, bin schedules and more — based on an address or location.
The website has powerful search functionality, with the homepage structured around a Google inspired search box. Popular search terms are suggested on the homepage, based on common usage or seasonality.
The City of Marion's communication strategy is broader than just the corporate website; a significant portion of the community chooses to interact with the council via social media, and the communications team uses these platforms to extend the reach of the website’s content. Using a custom API integration, we then import social media content back into the website to ensure that any unique messaging is still available to the website audience. Updates from multiple Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter accounts are imported, and can be featured on relevant pages throughout the website.
We consulted with the City of Marion’s Elected Members throughout the delivery of this project, and specifically to define the features and functionality of the website’s integrated Elected Member portal.
Gated behind a secure login, the Elected Member portal seamlessly extends the functionality of the website, providing quick access to internal council information and functionality. Quick links provide direct access to commonly sought pages, such as upcoming meeting dates, agendas, recent media coverage and major events. The portal also provides Elected Members with a discussion board allowing private group conversations between the City of Marion’s councillors.
By integrating the portal with the corporate website, Elected Members benefit from a single user experience, gaining access to an extended version of the website and the ability to seamlessly browse and search content between the website and portal.
This approach also brings efficiencies for the City of Marion’s content authors, who are able to manage both the website and portal together, and can tag shared content — such as a major event — to appear on both with a single click.
Landing pages have been developed for audience groups, such as businesses, visitors, seniors, families, and youth, with each highlighting relevant council services, news, events, and more. These audience segments have been used throughout the website, with the ability for everything from events to local parks to be filtered in order to provide content that's personalised to each visitor.
The City of Marion's 7 Days in Marion tourism website has also been integrated into the website, allowing visitors to easily find the best places to eat, play, shop, and stay when visiting the region. Whether searching for a nearby cafe, the best playgrounds, where to shop or for somewhere to stay, a website-wide interactive map shows all these locations in one place, and offers multiple ways of discovering the must see-and-do attractions across the City of Marion.
Previously, the City of Marion managed a separate corporate website, Elected Member portal and tourism website. Consolidating these into one platform now allows for efficient content sharing between these websites and a more integrated customer experience for the community.
Alongside this project we have also developed a digital signage system to display information such as news and events to community members visiting the council's offices, library and other locations. This information is displayed on large digital displays, and draws content automatically from the website, extending its reach, while keeping information centralised and up-to-date.