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Shift has evolved.

Shift Auckland is now Digital Arts Network.

Read the Media Release

Auckland Council Website

Making it easier for Aucklanders to engage with Auckland Council through digital.

Background

The Auckland ‘Super” Council is large and complex.  It’s the largest council in Australasia, with a $3 billion annual budget and nearly 10,000 full time staff providing 1000 plus services to Aucklanders – ranging from issuing building consents, pet registrations and fielding rates bill queries through to helping Aucklanders find the best parks to walk their dogs. The website was outdated, not user friendly did not reflect the councils’ desire to more purposefully help Aucklanders through digital.

The Challenge

The Council’s website was outdated, not user friendly and did not reflect the organisation’s intent to help Aucklanders do more through digital. Collaborating with the digital team, our job was to set the project up for success so collectively, Auckland Council and partners could deliver the live site.

The Brief

Set the council up for successful delivery of a new site that made it easier for people to engage with Auckland Council and ‘get it done’ online.

The project’s expected 1– 2 year leadtime made it prohibitive for us to be involved for the entire project – our value therefore, was in setting up the client for success – set vision for the site; create the tools and process needed to deliver it, and importantly, up-skill Council teams in a learning-by-doing environment to allow them to confidently carry on the project once we had stepped away.

The Approach

We collaborated with a cross disciplinary team of key stakeholders including the public, Council leadership and Digital teams; plus design and build partners. We set vision for the site; created the tools and process needed to deliver it, and importantly, up-skilled Council teams in a learning-by-doing environment to allow them to confidently carry on the project once we had stepped away.

Our process was as follows: 

  1. Discovery – better understanding user and business needs
  2. Strategy – Using key insights to inform vision and purpose for the site
  3. Design and prototype a site experience with users that delivered to the vision
  4. Create a design toolkit for ongoing future delivery

The Result

We moved Council from a sprawling desktop-only, jargon-heavy website, comprised of 10,000 pages of content, 25,000 pdfs, 50 microsites – to a simple, task focused, mobile-first experience that made doing everyday tasks easy.

  • Set the client up for success – developed a pathway for design and development partners to deliver a live site on time and on budget.
  • Build the digital services team capability in user centred design to ensure continuous improvement.
  • Codified design principles for partners to roll out build effectively

On the whole, testing has revealed that the Auckland Council & Libraries beta site shows significant improvement in accessibility - up to 24% conformance improvement across pages.

This is a website that embraces everything Maori Television does and as we head towards our 9th anniversary, it marks a significant development. We are fast becoming a digital multi-media organisation - this is not a standard refresh, it’s a complete overhaul.

Sarah-Jane Richards; Digital Advisory Group, Auckland Council