Managers become web designers with Urban River!

at Great Aycliffe Council

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A recent website spruce-up by Great Aycliffe Council and South Shields design agency, Urban River, is allowing even the most technically inexperienced staff to update and maintain the website.

The new site is being used as a community tool for both residents and visitors to find out all about Aycliffe, including local events and activities taking place in each of their wards and Oakleaf Sports and Golf Complexes.

The old website

The old website

Previously, Great Aycliffe employees could only contribute news and images to their website; even the simplest of information was time consuming and confusing to upload. Visitors also found information hard to find and slow to load. Therefore, the Managers wanted to self-manage their site; meaning any text or extra menu options could be added with minimal knowledge of web design and build.

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Marie Robinson, Leisure and Environment Assistant at Great Aycliffe Council said “Urban River has recently completed our website which we are really pleased with. We love the functionality and interaction of the site, and the menu structure ensures easy navigation even for the most inexperienced user. Although we have experienced some minor teething troubles, we now enjoy editing our website which is something that could not have been said about our previous three. It’s so simple to use that our managers (who had had no experience at all of web sites) picked it up with relative ease. The fact we can upload loads of documents to the file manager at one time and file them in a ‘windows’ type of environment is great.”


John Barker, Head of Digital

John Barker, Head of Digital

John Barker, Head of Digital at Urban River, said “flexibility was the main requirement of GAC so we split their back-end access into 4 levels; web manager login (total access), editor login (news, events and sections), sports (sports complex and other sections) and golf admin (just access to Oakleaf golf course site).

Overall, functionality is improved, content is easy to control by the Managers and is easy to find and read from a user-experience point of view. The micro-sites for the Oakleaf Sports and Oakleaf Golf Complex have a separate link but can still be controlled and managed using the back-end content system of the Aycliffe website, ensuring the council have as much flexibility as possible.”

Upon the website launch Marie Robinson said: “I have attended meetings of the Council for 21 years and have never seen them applaud anything before, however that’s what happened at the pre-launch viewing presentation of our new website.”

By Urban River

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