Horsens Municipality

Kruso has just delivered a more efficient solution that not only saves Horsens municipality for 1.8 million DKK per year but also ensures a more easily accessible site.

About Horsens Municipality

Horsens Municipality is a thriving cultural center in Denmark and home to 90,279 municipal residents. A large increase in occupying citizens makes Horsens one of Denmark's largest municipalities. This may be due to a successful branding strategy that places Horsens on the map as a municipality with an extraordinary cultural life, strong identity and good living conditions.

Photos: Horsens municipality

Challenge

The municipal government of Horsens wants to serve citizens and visitors with an informative and useful website. But after 12 years of incremental development, the site had bloated to more than 3,500 pages that took 70 content editors to maintain. Users got lost in the site and, unable to satisfy their needs, would reach out to municipal employees. Horsens set out to upgrade its website structure and content to focus on resident needs, pare out extraneous content, and make the site easier to edit, update, and change. “It’s important for government sites to stop focusing on what they want to tell you and to start focusing on what users want to find out or do,” said Jesper Kristen Bøje, Webmaster for Horsens. “We might not sell cars or shampoo, but we ‘sell’ services, and the more we can get people to find and use those services, the better use we make of taxpayer money.”

solution

Horsens has operated on the Sitecore platform since 2006. For this new project, it upgraded to Sitecore® Experience PlatformTM (XP 9) and became the first Danish municipality to run on Microsoft Azure Platform as a Service (PaaS). The solution is scalable, provides load balancing, and streamlines integration to content delivery networks. Sitecore’s Geo-IP capabilities help attract families from neighboring municipalities. Sitecore partner Kruso assisted, using Sitecore’s Helix design principles and conventions to ready the site for cost-efficient implementation and maintenance. “We talked to three different vendors, and Kruso had the best 360-degree view on the project,” Bøje said. “They understood and could deliver on our vision for a modern government website.” The new site features focused content, clear navigation, and approximately 80 self-service options via connections to third-party systems.

Result

The previous information architecture made navigation confusing, so Horsens pared the number of pages by 90%, from 3,500 to 400 clear and purposeful ones. An optimized search function brings the most visited pages forward, making them easy to find. “The information architecture has switched from how the municipality is organized to one that puts the visitor in the center,” Bøje said. “The page content is shorter and to the point.” This site serves users better while enabling staffing and cost efficiencies. Horsens reduced 70 content editors to nine, an 87% decline that freed 990 hours of staff time annually for high-value citizen services. “They can do what they are hired for, their core competencies,” Bøje said. Every time someone uses digital self-service instead of contacting a municipal employee, Horsens saves money. More than half of users surveyed said the information they found on the site was sufficient to cover their needs without further interaction. Increasing conversions — indications site users are finding what they are looking for — are saving Horsens $270,000 annually. Horsens continues to deploy additional websites — for museums, the harbor, and cultural activities — into the new, multi-site platform. Approximately 70 sites will consolidate into 35 sites on the new Sitecore platform. With the framework established, Horsens can create new project and departmental websites without incurring extra costs. The municipality’s branding is clearer to residents and international visitors alike. Horsens plans to further refine its personalization capabilities, tracking a user’s journey to show more relevant content. “If you have tried to find information about kindergartens, you might want easy access to find public playgrounds in the area,” Bøje said. Horsens’ biggest challenge was gaining organizational buy-in for the transformation. Today, the organization sees the benefits of having a much more streamlined and consistent website. With success now firmly established, other municipalities are looking to Horsens as a model. “You can cut out between 80%-90% of your content, and then the content you end up having is actually more accessible, and visitors can find the information they’re looking for,” Bøje said.

It is important for government websites to focus on consumer needs.

- Jesper Kristen Bøje, Webmaster, Horsens Municipality

Horsens Municipality

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Telefon: +45 5360 8320

Mail: oj@kruso.dk

Ole Jensen