City of Barrie Website Goes Mobile

The City of Barrie

"I Envision... an updated website that visitors can access just as easily and completely from their mobile device, tablet, or desktop computer."

The Client

A vibrant, prosperous, historic community of over 140,000 residents, Barrie is one of the fastest growing and most beautiful lakefront cities in Ontario. Located just south of cottage country and an hour north of Toronto, the City of Barrie is in one of the strongest economic regions in Canada. The community boasts a premium quality of life with swimmable beaches and challenging ski opportunities on its doorstep. An abundance of parkland, a lively cultural district and expanding business centre make Barrie increasingly attractive to residents and investors alike. With the friendliness and beauty of a small town and the amenities of a large city, Barrie has the rare advantage of enjoying the best of both worlds.

The Challenge

The existing City of Barrie public website ( was built on the MOSS 2007 platform. Envision IT was contracted to upgrade the site to SharePoint 2010 in order to maintain current technology standards and functionality. The decision was also made to optimize the site for mobile devices utilizing the latest adaptive and responsive design best practices to provide a better user experience that adapts to whatever device or browser people choose.

Standard page viewed on a full size screen

Standard page viewed on a full size screen

Home page for The City of Barrie website

Home page for the City of Barrie website

The Solution

Envision IT started by performing a complete audit of the City of Barrie website, and we were able to identify specific layouts, web parts and custom components that would need particular attention during the upgrade. We then built a new SharePoint 2010-compatible master page for the site. In order to achieve the goal of appropriately accommodating mobile devices, the underlying page markup and style sheets needed to be carefully reviewed and modified to allow for the various adaptive design hooks necessary to successfully adapt pages to them.

Envision IT provided new creative mockups for different sized screens. On a full size desktop browser the site should appear fundamentally as it did previously, but as the browser size is reduced for tablet and mobile devices, the design adjusts to optimize for the smaller form factor. This is done by leveraging adaptive web design techniques that will allow the site to respond to the device on which it is being viewed.

It is expected that the upgraded site will reach a much broader target audience and encourage visitors to use more areas of the site thanks to an enhanced user experience on mobile devices.

The City of Barrie site optimized for tablet devices
The City of Barrie site optimized for mobile devices

The City of Barrie website optimized for tablet devices and mobile devices

The Results

  • An updated website that leverages the enhanced functionality of SharePoint 2010
  • A site that will be fully optimized for viewing on a smaller mobile screen
  • Provides improved user experience to Barrie residents, business owners and potential new investors