Accessible to all – Rochdale’s new website launched

The new website viewed on a tablet

Rochdale Borough Council has launched their new website, the latest step in their customer transformation programme.

Working with Jadu, a leading global provider of accessible websites (CMS), online forms and customer case management the website has been rebuilt and is now more secure with all pages being delivered across https.

It has a completely new look and is more user-friendly on mobile devices – important with over 80% of residents now using mobile devices to access the content.  There’s a new search engine built in and more online forms helping residents to self-serve across a wider range of services.

It is much more accessible, able to be used by people with a wide range of disabilities and is already rated as one of the most accessible council websites in the UK by Sitemorse (Q3 Sitemorse Local Government Index).

Other improved features include:

  • A more intuitive navigation and user journey enabling residents to access services faster.
  • Integrated forms using new branded website templates – make it easier when residents are requesting things or reporting issues.
  • Flexible page layouts to help residents scan content and complete tasks quicker.
  • The council can connect to other software such as their MyAccount service and CRM as well as making efficiencies by linking directly to back office systems.

Council leader Neil Emmott said the new site offers a much more inclusive digital experience and building it during the pandemic provided a unique opportunity:  “Our new site is much more accessible, designed to be usable for people with a broad range of disabilities.

Built by Jadu using software that met legislative requirements, it was developed during the global pandemic so we were determined to use the lessons learnt to ensure that when residents can’t visit us in person they can easily access our services digitally.

Establishing what residents needed from our new website was the starting point for the improvements. We’re on a journey to develop the website further and this will form a vital step on our transformation journey.”

Suraj Kika, chief executive and founder of Jadu added: “This is the first major step to delivering accessible modern digital services for Rochdale and we're proud to be supporting the council with its new digital platform. Rochdale’s objectives included designing an accessible website that met legislative standards and also mobile responsive and secure forms that make it easy for users to request and report things they care about. We're excited to support the council in delivering much more to come.”

Within the first few weeks of going live the council has achieved the Internet Crystal Mark for plain English for its website, and it is the busiest access channel in the authority.

Published: 21st September 2022