City of Sydney website

  • 2021

  • Digital
    Web Design and Development

Designed By:

  • Merkle and City of Sydney
  • Harry Court
  • William Sun
  • Derek McKenna
  • Dado Dela Trinidad

Commissioned By:

City of Sydney

Tom Gao

Joe Gullotta

Stuart Wong

Bernard de Broglio

Designed In:


Isobar worked with City of Sydney to redesign, redevelop and re-platform The work reimagined City of Sydney’s product strategy and design direction for the website, and included a comprehensive remodel of their content using a community-first, user research-driven approach.

  • MORE
  • The City of Sydney does many different things: from parking and waste to parks, libraries and development. They also serve a broad audience - not just people living in the local area, but also businesses that operate within it and visitors passing through. As it stood, people were unaware of the breadth of services the City of Sydney provides. They were completing the wrong form or simply failing to find what they needed in a timely manner. As a result, services were under-utilised and customers were spending more time determining what they had to do and less time doing it.

  • We adopted a content-first strategy that mapped council concepts and their relationships. We found the City's users had specific ways of searching for and making sense of council content - by doing the work to understand their mental models, we surfaced salient content relationships in our designs that greatly improved content discovery. The result was a distinctive yet highly effective approach to information architecture.

  • We believe we've set the new standard for how a government site should look and operate. Staff can update the website quickly and easily. Thanks to the highly structured content, pages can often be found on Google as Featured Snippets, drastically cutting search time. We have seen up to 50% improvement in click-through rates to our online services and up to 25% improvement in measures of the time and effort it takes our customers to accomplish what they have to do - meaning less time clicking and more time enjoying the City.

  • The development team used Sitecore JSS and React to build a suite of bespoke components to meet the needs of the City of Sydney content model and services. Sitecore's JSS approach allows these custom components to be available to the authoring experience, which was augmented by purpose-built authoring mode enhancements to provide an intuitive WYSIWYG experience to authors. React and server-side rendering also turns the website into a single-page experience, giving it the feel of a native application while not compromising search engine optimisation. Clever caching and lazy loading ensure a speedy time-to-first-interaction. The website's also built for accessibility. Screen-reader-only elements give additional context for vision-impaired users. You can also navigate the whole site with your keyboard, with careful tab-ordering and focus states implemented throughout.