Banyule City Council
Extending from Melbourne’s north-eastern leafy suburbs up to Greensborough and the rolling hills of Plenty, Banyule City is a local government area with a focus on sustainability and delivering excellence to its residents.
We signed up as content partners for a comprehensive website redesign project. New designs, new technology and new messages about its 100+ programs and services.
Our brief was to use content design principles to create the right content for their target audience. We started talking to people and listened to staff, stakeholders and people invited in off the street describe what they needed on their Council website. We wrote a library of user stories and worked with designers and developers to come up with content types, features and templates to realise user-centric content outcomes.
With a comprehensive understanding of the organisation and its current content, as well as good insights into what their users needed, we were in a good place to help work on the new site information architecture. We used a ‘ground up’ approach to create intuitive groupings and user-friendly labels, thought about content in template types, and the user experience searching, browsing or navigating through the site hierarchy.
Banyule didn’t want to write an encyclopedia about itself; the brief was to instead create a website for users with only the content they need (and a few extras to meet regulations). The Banyule ‘not-encyclopedia’ still ran to 300 pages – service and program descriptions, interactions and transactions, events and agendas. We wrote every page in plain English, with the user need determining the information hierarchy and accessibility outcomes informing how it was written. We also updated the organisation writing style guide to include best-practice online content conventions.
Production and launch planning
Production and launch planning is an often forgotten but very important part of website redesign projects. We worked with Banyule to work out the best way to get content updated, approved, entered into the CMS and checked for launch. We designed a process that was realistic, based on the opportunities and shortcomings of the technologies involved and the available human resources. And it worked – together we met an ambitious launch deadline and launched a site that was whole and comprehensive.
And now the real work begins for the Banyule team – living in and maintaining a relevant, consistent and accessible website that meet their users’ needs.
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