New website for Cascades Female Factory

One of Tasmania’s most significant colonial-era historic sites is embracing the latest web technology to reach out to potential visitors.

The World Heritage listed Cascades Female Factory Historic Site has launched a new website that uses ‘responsive design’ technology so that the website works well on a wide range of technologies and screen types, from widescreen desktops to tablets and mobile phones.

Cascades Female Factory Historic Site Manager Greta McDonald said the technology offered app-like convenience to users of mobile phones.

“On a desktop computer, it looks like a normal website,” said Ms McDonald. “But the site automatically detects the screen size being used and adjusts its display and functionality to suit the context.”

“For example, on a desktop, the ‘contact us’ button will lead to a page with various options for getting in touch with us here at the Female Factory. But view the same page on a mobile phone and that button changes to one that says ‘call now’, and pushing it immediately phones our number.”

With tablet computers and mobile phones accounting for almost a quarter of website visits, the responsive design technology removes the need to offer separate websites optimised for mobile devices.

The Female Factory website is just the first of a range of new technology applications that the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority (PAHSMA, which manages the Cascades Female Factory along with the Port Arthur and Coal Mines Historic Sites), intends to roll out across its sites.

Design work for the new website was completed by Tasmania-based company Future Medium. Development and implementation was undertaken by the Information Management team at the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment, with content and project management by PAHSMA’s marketing unit.

The website as it appears on an iPad tablet.

The website as it appears on an iPad tablet.