Making Boston.gov mobile friendly


On the left, you can see the clunky layout of our current site on a smartphone. The Boston.gov pilot site (right) is much more mobile friendly.

On the left, you can see the clunky layout of our current site on a smartphone. The Boston.gov pilot site (right) is much more mobile friendly.

Yes, we know the current City website looks terrible on your smartphone.

The homepage features tiny text with not a lot of options. If you want to get something done, you usually need to visit the full desktop site and practice your pinch-and-zoom skills.

We also know that we’re behind the times. Most websites are built with mobile users in mind, and with good reason. For many, accessing the Internet through a smartphone is a first option; for some, it’s their only option. A new Pew Research Center study found that more and more Americans are relying on their smartphones to get to the Internet.

“Today smartphone adoption has reached parity with home broadband adoption (68% of Americans now report that they own a smartphone), and 13% of Americans are ‘smartphone-only’ – up from 8% in 2013,” the report said.

In addition to being an issue of digital equity and improving user experience, Google started de-prioritizing pages that aren’t mobile-friendly in their search results last year.

With all that in mind, the Digital Team wanted to make sure we finally created an optimized site that looked great on all screen sizes. The GIF at the top of this post helps illustrate the difference by comparing our current mobile site against the layout of pilot.boston.gov.

We hope a better experience continues to satisfy the needs of those who want or need to get to the site from a mobile device. Our mobile-friendly layout is a core part of our design for the new Boston.gov, and it’s also a primary concern when we create anything for the City’s constituents.


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