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A citizen-first website: info less than 4 clicks away


Stad Brugge

Stad Brugge header Image

A citizen-first website: info less than 4 clicks away

Stad Brugge header Image

Stad Brugge


Bruges, a city steeped in history and culture, recognised the importance of modernising its digital infrastructure to better serve citizens and visitors. The launch of a redesigned website marks a significant milestone in Bruges’ journey towards enhancing accessibility and engagement with its community.

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The complexity of online city services

Before the transformation, Bruges faced a significant challenge in seamlessly integrating online and offline city services. The existing website structure, while informative, didn't completely bridge the gap between digital and physical interactions, posing obstacles for citizens seeking vital information.

Recognising the importance of inclusivity, Bruges embarked on a journey with us as they highlighted the importance of a user-friendly digital interface and emphasised the necessity of accessibility for all citizens. By discussing and pinpointing these challenges from the start of the project, Leap Forward and Bruges laid the groundwork for a more human-centric website, where every resident, visitor or entrepreneur, regardless of background or ability, could engage with the city services effortlessly.

Mixed-method research approach

As a full-service agency, we adopted a broad approach to address Bruges's digital challenges. The journey began with a mixed-method research approach, leveraging data-driven insights from tools like Hotjar and Google Analytics, along with qualitative user testing on the existing website across different citizen profiles.

The co-creation process involved stakeholders from the Bruges team and several experts from our team, to create a new information architecture aimed at streamlining user journeys and ensuring that citizens could access the right information within four clicks. Through these workshops and online user testing sessions, we validated and refined the architecture to prioritise usability and clarity, avoiding jargon and inside-out thinking.


User-centric & modular webdesign

We refined the Bruges brand identity and translated our architectural vision into modular and reusable pages, allowing for greater ease of content management for the city's web team.

Our emphasis on modularity ensures that new pages can be created seamlessly without compromising the user-friendliness or visual identity of the site. Furthermore, we paid special attention to enhancing interactivity throughout the website, introducing features such as a new appointment-flow system, a more robust search function, and interactive maps to enrich the user experience and facilitate efficient navigation.

Discover everything you need to know about the city of Bruges: practical citizen information, exciting events, engaging stories and much more.


Discover everything you need to know about the city of Bruges: practical citizen information, exciting events, engaging stories and much more.


"The teams at Leap Forward and Anvil are highly multidisciplinary, meaning there's an expert available for every question. They provided an environment where ideas are readily challenged."
Carolina Brugge

Carolina Droogendijk

Project Manager at Bruges


Multi-CMS approach for scalable creation & maintenance

Using Drupal CMS for content management, we've simplified the creation of multiple pages and extra websites. The multi-CMS strategy and setup by our partner Anvil, empowers the web team at Bruges to effortlessly establish new content tailored to each department's specific needs.

The centralised approach allows each department to independently manage their own website while still consolidating these pages into a single system. This multi-CMS approach also ensures that new components and investments remain under the control of the communications department, reducing maintenance costs and keeping the visual identity consistent.

Although several systems will be running for all the Bruges websites, the platform operates on eco-friendly servers, minimizing its environmental impact.


Logically integrated with other governmental services

Together with Anvil, we set up multiple integrations: eventlisting from UITinVlaanderen, GIPOD and Mijn Burgerprofiel. The integration with "Mijn Burgerprofiel" significantly enhances the user experience of issue reporting. Users can securely and conveniently log in using their electronic identity card (Itsme) and can track their reports within this profile. A unique feature for Bruges is the integration with the local database, which automatically fills in personal details when completing forms.

Additionally, we've enhanced the interactive map functionality on the website with a geographic data service integration. This offers a wide range of thematic maps, from parking spots to playgrounds and parks. The improved functionality enables users to easily locate places and access specific information, enhancing their overall experience.

SEO efforts & measuring data fueling continuous optimisations

As part of our SEO approach, we conducted upfront keyword research to enhance the findability of services and information on the new website. Next to that, we supported the team of Bruges with the URL redirect strategy to ensure a seamless migration from the old website to the new one, preserving search engine rankings and ensuring that citizens can easily locate the information they need. By prioritising SEO from the get-go, we've ensured that the redesigned website not only offers improved functionality but also optimises its visibility to citizens searching online for city services.

As part of our commitment to excellence, ongoing measurement and optimisation efforts are underway to ensure that the website continues to meet the evolving needs of citizens. Advanced tracking and analytics tools like Matomo (a GDPR-friendly alternative to Google Analytics) enable us to validate design decisions and refine user experiences.

The result: a smooth citizen experience

The collaborative efforts of Bruges, Anvil and Leap Forward culminated in the successful launch of a new, informative, and citizen-centric website, empowering Bruges's citizens with seamless access to services and resources. The redesigned interface, with an intuitive appointment flow and interactive maps, has garnered positive feedback from citizens, affirming the website's role as a vital resource hub.

This website was created with the support of Cronos Public Services.

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