Launch of new website (and we look back at all the old City of Cockburn websites)

The City of Cockburn has launched its new website, making it quicker and easier for you to engage with us.

  • Easy to find information
  • Accessible content for all ages, abilities and disabilities
  • Find things in Cockburn using our interactive map
  • Pay, register and apply online
  • Discover all the great things we offer our residents

Check it out – cockburn.wa.gov.au

New city of cocbkurn website promotion - image of phone with new website displayed

City of Cockburn Media Release

10 July 2017 –  Cockburn’s new accessible websites “among the very best”

DIGITAL accessibility for all, whether that be for people with disability, those who are ageing, or residents who are culturally and linguistically diverse, is the aim of the City of Cockburn’s main website. 

Launched last week, the City of Cockburn website has been developed and audited to meet the internationally-recognised Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, Version 2.0 (WCAG 2.0), to Level AA. 

The same level of compliance has also been achieved by the City of Cockburn’s new Cockburn ARC website, making the digital environments as easy to use as possible, by people of all abilities.

City of Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett said the websites’ Level AA compliance meant people living and working in the City would be able to meet their own information needs, independently and securely, without necessarily having to telephone or come into the City offices in person.

“This is critical for the inclusion of people who have traditionally been marginalised in our digital society,” Mayor Howlett said.

“Enabling more people to fulfil their information needs independently from these websites means those people who do need personal assistance won’t be faced with long waiting times. This improves the experience for all citizens in their dealings with the City.”

Some of the main accessibility features of the City’s new websites include: 

  • Full accessibility for people who are blind or have low vision and use screenreaders and other assistive technologies 
  •  All links and other user interaction are fully accessible with keyboard-only use, ensuring those unable to use a mouse are not disadvantaged 
  •  People who use voice-activation technology, such as Siri or Dragon Naturally Speaking, can access the full website using that software 
  •  Mobile-friendly while maintaining functionality to work with popular web browsers and mobile technology devices and platforms 
  •  Based on Google Maps, the websites’ maps have been significantly improved to allow greater contrast through turning on the ‘accessibility’ feature and a voice service reads the map information 
  •  These maps have a textual capability which allows users of screen-readers and those unable to use a mouse, to interact with the maps to provide an alternative to the visual content 
  •  All menus can be opened and closed without the use of a pointer-specific device such as a mouse 
  •  All colours have been tested to ensure they meet the WCAG 2.0 Level AA colour contrast requirements 
  •  All links have been provided with unique and understandable text rather than relying on the HTML URL’s. 

The City began work to update its circa-1999 website in 2015 under the guidance of award-winning internationally-recognised website accessibility expert, WA-based Dr Vivienne Conway. 

With her company Web Key IT, Dr Conway was contracted to provide digital accessibility consulting, training and auditing for both websites, from the tender selection process in 2015.

She worked with the City of Cockburn and Perth website developer Alyka to ensure accessibility was addressed at every stage of the process, rather than relying on an audit and remediation at the end of the sites’ development.

“Among all the websites that Web Key IT has tested, including internationally, the new City of Cockburn websites are among the very best,” Dr Conway said.

“In local government, we haven’t found a more accessible website. One of our user testers who has been blind since birth stated “the website is so accessible and lovely to use, that it makes me want to move to Cockburn”.

“I don’t think you can get higher praise than that!”

 The City is moving towards the bulk of its communication material, including its style and writing guides, being produced following the accessibility requirements laid out in the WCAG 2.0 level AA accreditation. 

The City plans to hold workshops to demonstrate the accessibility features so users can make the best possible use of the websites, and will also ask for feedback via a link to Comment on Cockburn on the City’s homepage. This feedback will help the website evolve alongside accessibility testing for the first six months post-launch and then every 12 months to ensure it continues to meet AA requirements.

 Did You Know: 

  •  The City of Cockburn first established a web presence in March 1999 
  •  The City of Cockburn was one of the very first Local Governments to have a website, especially one that was regularly updated 
  •  This first website won the Australian Municipal Association’s Communications Award for Best Website 
  •  Dow Digital (now Brand Agency) was our first website’s designer, and it took 18 months to create with regular consultation with a large stakeholder group.

END of MEDIA RELEASE

City of Cockburn website history – visual timeline… 

1999 version of the City of Cockburn website

Screenshot from  Internet Archive – Wayback Machine
Screenshot of the City of Cockburn website home page from 1999

1999 promotion of the then new City of Cockburn website

Printed double sided card (business card sized)

City of Cockburn website promotion circa 2004. Listing a few features of the then new website

2004 version of the City of Cockburn website

Screenshot from  Internet Archive – Wayback Machine

Embracing the Wetlands to Waves concept, the new 2004 website features a pelican.  (Does anyone remember what the Pelican’s name was?) 

Screenshot of the City of Cockburn website home page circa 2004

2008 version of the City of Cockburn website

Screenshot from  Internet Archive – Wayback Machine. The website gets a visual makeover and the pelican gets the heave ho.

Screenshot of City of Cockburn website home page circa 2008

This version of the website has lasted up until the end of June 2017  (screenshot via Internet Archive – Wayback Machine)

Screenshot of City of Cockburn website home page from June 2017