Simplifying user journeys to access key information
The Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC) is responsible for conducting investigations and assessments, providing advice and making recommendations based on requests made by the Victorian government relating to the protection of the environment and natural resources of public land. The site serves as a repository for information about current and previous investigations and assessments.
This redevelopment and redesign project placed special emphasis on updating the site architecture to support clearly defined pathways for the site’s diverse audience groups; namely the general public across metro and regional Victoria, government, interest groups, consultants, and council members. The redesign was driven by the need to improve access to information online and facilitate public consultation in an easy manner.
Webplace partnered with VEAC to create a fresh and updated site that was easy to manage as content administrators, and easy to use as site visitors.
A comprehensive document repository with a wide range of collateral such as maps, reports and submissions needed to be contextually displayed alongside the investigations or assessments it related to. In addition, a restricted section was needed so that selected council members could access secure documents not meant for the public eye.
Allowing a streamlined public consultation process was also imperative for the new site, something that was lacking previously.
The redesign consisted of several iterations of wireframe prototyping to ensure that the optimum user journey for accessing useful collateral relating to investigations and assessments were met.
Allowing users to submit an online submission based on the status of the investigation or assessment meant that these content types needed varying functionality, and hence front end look and feel to reflect changes based on status. This functionality was quite tricky and we performed rigorous testing to ensure that the system was robust enough to handle the varying parameters and situations. There were over ten statuses and online submissions were only open for a certain few.
The new website was clean, simple, and fresh. It showcases the current investigations and assessments and the site architecture neatly divides current and archived projects, making it easier for the user to navigate.
Investigations and assessments have all related collateral within the page itself, negating the need to click off to a separate page, and lastly, site visitors can easily recognise whether they can submit an online submission or not depending on whether the ‘Online submission’ form appears within the investigation and assessment page. There is no guesswork for what the status of the project is, and site visitors are provided with a holistic view of the investigation or assessment.