City of Victoria

Accessible, user-focused website launched for provincial capital

The City of Victoria is a forward-thinking community with a population of over 90,000 residents. Victoria is a dynamic city, appealing to residents, businesses, and visitors alike for its thriving economy, active arts and culture community, and surrounding natural environment. As a city committed to inclusivity, having an accessible, user-friendly website is important to ensure residents and businesses can access information and services.


Services Provided

  • Accessible Design
  • Custom Solutions
  • User Experience Testing

The Challenge

The City of Victoria's website has approximately 1 million visitors each year and is one of the primary ways the City communicates with residents and businesses. The website acts as a hub for the City's services, providing information and access to nearly 50 online services. However, the City's existing website was over 10 years old and was built before web accessibility was a top consideration for local governments.

The City wanted a new, modern, and accessible website that would enable all members of the public to access a service-oriented digital city hall. Along with a new website, the City was looking for a new content management system (CMS) that would make it easy to publish and edit content with a custom content approval workflow.  Additionally, the City requested help editing their current content to reduce content bloat and ensure consistent, accessible content across its site. 

A screenshot of the City of Victoria homepage, with a large image banner of the Victoria harbour and a search bar in the centre of it.
Two screenshots of the City of Victoria website on mobile, one showing the homepage and the other showing the menu.

The Solution

Upanup knew that designing and developing a website that residents and businesses in Victoria could easily access and navigate was a top priority. To ensure the City's new website would meet the needs of its users, the project had a significant focus on content, including: 

  • Sitemap Usability Testing — We designed a tree test using a draft of the new sitemap. The test was completed by 25 participants, providing information on how navigable the new sitemap was. See more about sitemap best practices here.
  • Content Coordinator Services — We reviewed and revised existing website content, regularly meeting with City department staff to incorporate their feedback into new content drafts. These drafts went through two rounds of revisions before approval and migration to the new site. 
  • Content Governance Guide — We assisted the City in developing a content governance strategy for their new site, which included a Content Governance Guide that outlines a content workflow and user roles. We then prepared a presentation of this strategy for their staff as training on the new process.

In addition to the content-focused work, Upanup redesigned the website to be accessible and service-oriented. As part of the redesign, we ran user-experience testing sessions, incorporating feedback into the final design. This helped ensure that the new design met the needs of its users and allowed them to easily find and access City services. 

A screenshot showing the bottom of the City of Victoria homepage, including three brightly coloured card links just above the footer.
An inside page from the City of Victoria website. This page is on the City's parks and shows the filters available for the park view.

The Results

The City's new website,, launched in October 2023. The City of Victoria now has a modern, accessible website that:

  • meets WCAG 2.1 AA requirements.
  • is user-friendly and focused on helping residents and businesses access city services.
  • has consistent and accessible content at a grade 8 reading level.

The new site was developed using the Drupal CMS, allowing for easy drafting, reviewing, and scheduling of content. We created four user roles with different levels of site access, to fit their content governance model. Additionally, the site is scalable, able to expand and accommodate the Capital City as it grows and changes. For the City, one of the highlights of this project was the Content Coordinator services, that meant the new website launched not only with a new design and improved functionality, but with refreshed content to match.