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Summary

Bay of Plenty Regional Council supports the sustainable development of the Bay of Plenty region encompassing seven territorial authorities. The organisation employs around 400 full-time staff across six offices in Whakatāne, Tauranga, Mount Maunganui, Rotorua, Edgecumbe and Ōpōtiki. 

Our role

  • Business analysis
  • Information architecture
  • UX and UI design
  • CMS implementation
  • Payment gateway integration
  • Support

Challenge

In 2017, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council website ranked #62 out of 78 in the Association of Local Government Information Management (ALGIM) website audit. The rankings were determined by ALGIM as part of an annual review, and took into account usability, accessibility, interactions and payments.

Our task was to build a site that would help the Council’s goal of becoming a top 10 government website in 2019. To achieve this, the site navigation and content structure were overhauled to ensure users can find information quickly. In addition to a refreshed and on-brand design, the new site needed to comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, to level AA. The new site also needed to incorporate a payment gateway and a separate projects website that facilitates community engagement around public works in the region. 

Requirement

Our task was to build a site that would help the Council’s goal of becoming a top 10 government website in 2019. To achieve this, the site navigation and content structure were overhauled to ensure users can find information quickly.

In addition to a refreshed and on-brand design, the new site needed to comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, to level AA. The new site also needed to incorporate a payment gateway and a separate projects website that facilitates community engagement around public works in the region. 

Solution

A detailed analysis of the Council’s website and services was followed by a content audit to determine the new content structure (sitemap). The aim was to streamline the site for better hierarchy and display of content for fast and easy discovery.

The site was built on Umbraco, an enterprise class CMS, with hosting in Microsoft Azure, and consideration given to mobile optimisation of images, touch specific interactions and use of technologies supported across Windows, Android and Apple devices. We integrated a payment functionality so that users can pay for key services online.

Results

An interim ALGIM audit conducted in May 2019 showed the website ranking moving into the top quartile with a score of 88%, a significant improvement from the original 2017 score of 40%. Staff feedback indicates the site is user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing, and the new backend is clean and intuitive to use with multiple custom features and components to publish various content and document types.

At the ALGIM Spring Conference, 16-18 September 2019, Bay of Plenty Regional Council was awarded Supreme Website