The Middlesbrough Council website is a vital tool for residents, businesses, and customers to find information and access council services. With around 5.5 million page views per year across Middlesbrough Council and MyMiddlesbrough, this is the main - and often only - point of contact between users and the council.
The current website (which you're looking at now) was launched in September 2016. Now over five years old, it's in need of a refresh and a number of improvements.
We've started a project to completely review and rebuild the website so it meets the needs of all our users. We expect it will take 12-15 months to complete, and we'll be updating this page as we go.
New website goals
The new website will be:
- modern and have a clean design
- easy to use for all
- fully accessible
- secure and available 24/7
- available on all devices and popular web browsers
The website will be the first point of contact for all enquiries and tasks relating to Middlesbrough Council, and will allow you to complete tasks online yourself, rather than having to wait until our phone lines open.
Our new website needs to be fit for purpose, so we'll be making major decisions in agreement with our current website users (like you!). We'll be asking for feedback from residents at every stage of the project to make sure we meet the goals listed above, as well as in the future, as technology develops and changes.
To do this, we've formed a resident focus group. We'll be asking residents for their opinions and for their help in testing parts of the new website as they're built. We'll be taking into account all comments and opinions, and these will be used in the revision stage of the project. This is where we use feedback to decide on changes to things we've built, which could be anything from minor changes to colours right up to completely rebuilding part of the new site, if it's not doing what we want it to.
Progress so far
- We've spoken to website users to find out what they need from our website.
- We've reviewed feedback and statistics from the past five years to look for trends in user behaviour, and areas we can improve.
- We've set up a resident focus group and asked them to fill in a detailed survey about what the new website should contain.
- We've written a detailed list of requirements, ordered by importance from 'essential' to 'nice to have'. We'll make sure that our new website includes all the essential elements, and as many of the 'nice to have' elements as possible. If we're not able to put them all in straight away, we'll look at adding them in the future.
- We've chosen a new content management system (CMS). A CMS is the platform which the website is built on, and is how we add and edit pages and files. We've chosen to use Umbraco, which is free to use. It's 'open source', which means anyone with the right skills can help develop and improve it for everyone.
- We've spoken to our staff to understand what they want from the new website, and how digital systems (including the website and online forms) can help them to support customers better.
- We've decided to work with an agency to make sure we get the design and functionality of the new website right. After a tender process, we've chosen to work with 6B Digital, who are experts in their field. Their skills and design ideas match up with all the goals we want to achieve on the project.
- We've decided that the new website will be developed and maintained internally, rather than by an outside agency, as we currently do. This will save the council money and give us much more control over the website, so we can continuously improve it.
- Two draft designs for the website have been created. We carried out a large consultation exercise to get your opinion on which design you prefer and what changes you would like to see.
- A final design for the homepage of the council website has been agreed - you can view the final homepage design online.
- Designs for all other pages across the new website will be created
- We'll be doing detailed work with council departments to make sure the website meets both their needs and the needs of their customers.
- Our ICT Services team will build a test website, and we'll be asking residents to test it and send us their comments.
- We'll carry out a full review of all content on the website, with pages being rewritten in plain English if needed.
- We'll be asking our resident focus group for their comments at various stages of the project (don't forget if you want to join, just email your name to email@example.com).
- We'll launch the new website and replace the existing website, giving a better experience for all of our users.
We'll update this page as the project progresses, so check back to see what's happening. This page was last updated on 22 June 2022.