The Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen (Province of East Flanders), is the second biggest Belgian province, with 1.5 million inhabitants in 65 municipalities. The provincial government of East Flanders establishes the link between its municipalities and the Flemish Government. One of its main responsibilities is to contribute to the province’s sustainable development and to provide services to citizens, local authorities, organizations and companies.
•Align digital image with global positioning
• Engage more with audience
• Have a consistent multichannel strategy
• Follow UX best practices
• More flexible WCMS infrastructure and software
The provincial government of East Flanders has been paving the way for a progressive, citizen-centric region. While physical services were modernized to improve operational efficiency, their digital channels were not conveying the same government vision and goals. Their website not only faced serious visitor experience issues related to its usability and content, but also technical constraints on maintenance and evolution of the technology platforms used.
Visitors to the website include residents, local associations, authorities and businesses, and also potential investors. The available content was disorganized and incomplete, failing to meet the expectations of these diverse audiences interested in the province’s information. The content structure was complex and tedious for visitors to navigate. Not only was it hard for each group to find information that was relevant to them, but also the website wasn’t mobile friendly. From an SEO standpoint, this didn’t facilitate scanning and indexing of the content by search engines.
All these factors made it hard to keep organizational identity and service offering consistent, while also not reflecting the province’s values and desired brand positioning. A fresh slate to revamp the design and content to match East Flanders’ image and vision was the need of the hour.
The new website is a core tool to communicate with our residents, visitors, associations and local authorities, strengthening our image of an accessible and open institution.
Alexander Vercamer Deputy for communication at Province of East Flanders
With years of experience in digital content management in public sector organizations, AMPLEXOR guided the Province of East Flanders towards a forward-looking digital strategy with two main objectives: greater engagement and empowerment of citizens and closer collaboration with the private and social sectors. Based on the principles of The New Way of Working (United Nations) and with a government by design approach, we setup a new digital platform where the customer’s demand is central.
AEM 6.3 DIGITAL PLATFORM
The Province’s brand new Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) website and a renewed look & feel co-developed by AMPLEXOR and the Province’s web team, results in a website which not only looks good but also is in tune with the brand and organizational guidelines. It is a fresher, brighter looking and centralized public information channel about all topics provincial administration, cooperation initiatives developed locally and internationally, business and tourism opportunities in the region as well as education institutions and programs.
Always with the visitors’ needs, quality design and responsiveness on smartphones and tablets at front of mind, the new website follows the latest user experience best practices. Visual cues throughout the pages help the different visitor target groups find the types of content that match what they’re looking for.
The user friendliness and ease of content creation with AEM was a big win for web and content teams, who are finally able to manage content effectively, expand its capabilities with long-term perspectives in mind, and actively contribute to the organization’s goals.
WEB DEVELOPMENT BEST PRACTICES
AMPLEXOR was also involved in training and coaching the Province’s team of developers, who were new to web development in Adobe Experience Manager (AEM). Not only are they now completely up to speed with the technical tools, but they also got to implement the latest best practices on web development, AEM standards, as well as take advantage of the new features and improvements introduced in the latest versions of AEM. These supporting services helped ensure the high quality of the project and end-result.
PROJECT SUCCESS FACTORS
For the internal teams, the new digital platform based on Adobe technologies provides a userfriendly content management environment for the editors’ team. At the same time, the extensive training provided by AMPLEXOR helped bring up two developers in the Province’s team who were new to AEM to become proficient in these technologies and competent in global web development best practices.
Externally, the launch of the new fully-featured website resulted in a complete revitalization of the Province of East Flanders’s core communication channel with its general public and business target audiences. A refreshed and improved online presence was achieved in just roughly 6 months, bringing to life the organization’s strategy of opening its doors to the local and international communities, while projecting an innovative, creative and futureoriented image of East Flanders.
The new website and web development standards implemented for the Province of East Flanders were built on AMPLEXOR’s past successes in leading Digital Experience projects for other government institutions in Belgium and worldwide.
The setup of the new Adobe digital platform marked a new beginning for the Province’s communications, but the partnership with AMPLEXOR continues. Focusing on enhancing visitor experience, the two teams are already working to add more information and features to continue supporting the Province’s digital and brand positioning goals.
Thanks to the responsive design and the mobile first approach, the new site adapts perfectly to all our visitors’ devices, whether they use smartphones, tablets or computers.
Martine Verhoeve Deputy for ICT at Province of East Flanders