LEUVEN.be, the user first

User-friendliness paramount to City of Leuven corporate and project websites

Responsive design
Drupal 7
Platform solution
Training
Hosting
Support

The challenge

Reason for change

Leuven is "The Flemish Beauty on the Dyle", a lively student town and a cosy beer city. With a gigantic range of activities on offer for fans of culture, gastronomy, science, architecture and history. There is the beautiful Gothic Town Hall, the University Library and the city's showpiece, M-Museum. It's only logical that Leuven is so popular with its own inhabitants, students and tourists.

To improve the way this diverse public is guided through the city and to keep them informed of all activities, Leuven recently took decisive steps toward a digital transformation. The old website just wasn't cutting it.

The city aimed for an overarching and user-friendly platform for the creation and administration of the ‘leuven.be’ and ‘visitleuven.be’ websites, with the possibility to set up smaller project-oriented websites quickly, easily and without major additional cost.

Internet Architects (initial design) and Wunderkraut (technical implementation) sat down together to work it out.
 

Project approach

Together with Internet Architects, Wunderkraut started up the first workshops for the architecture in 2015. The choice for Drupal had already been made, but with our expertise we were able to chart out the architecture for a complete self-service platform for several city websites.

We started inputting content relatively early in the platform construction phase, so that we could quickly and smoothly respond to new insights into the structure and management of that content. Hasselt was the first to launch several sites on the platform. Several months later, Leuven followed suit (with a few extra features).

+99,000
inhabitants
in Burgundian university city
+100,000
tourists
per year
Mix of
culture, gastronomy, architecture
and a lively, student-oriented night life
Text color
#C0C0C0 1

The solution

Top task trajectory

The target audience of the leuven.be and visitleuven.be sites are both inhabitants and tourists. They must be given service fit for a king, with an attractive design and convenient navigation. A top-notch task analysis led to a clear navigation structure tailored to the visitors (instead of being tailored to the city services) which was then used as a framework around which the individual sites could be built.

Integrations

But, there's more. In this digital era, the fact that we integrated social media goes without saying. That was certainly something that the city missed on the old website. In addition, we set up a MailChimp integration to send newsletters, and we also worked on the integration with the UiTDatabank.

Flexible self-administration

From now on the websites' users can navigate super quickly through the sites - ­that is beyond dispute. But, there are even a lot of benefits for the Webmasters. We paid extra attention behind the scenes to ease-of-maintenance and manageability, for example, of specific campaigns or current topics. This way the personnel have all the freedom and control they need over the platform. Adding events and creating overview pages are now a piece of cake.

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Leuven-slider-2

Go-Live and beyond

We succeeded in completing leuven.be and visitleuven.be by the desired deadline at the end of December 2016. A technical audit by an external partner provided proof of our expertise in black and white. Helics has assumed responsibility for future maintenance.

Since the launch, two small sites on the same platform have gone live: agsl.be for the Autonoom Gemeentebedrijf voor Stadsontwikkeling Leuven (Autonomous Municipal Company for Urban Development Leuven) and the new site for the Huis van het Kind (House of the Child) (Leuven). Both sites are built on the joint functionalities of the platform, but each site has its own unique look & feel.

Check out the results at leuven.be, visitleuven.be, huisvanhetkindleuven.be and agsl.be.

Leuven-view