The Challenge

The City of Sydney is the local government authority responsible for the Sydney city centre and more than 30 surrounding suburbs. As one of Australia's largest and most respected local councils, when the City of Sydney makes a move in the digital space all eyes turn and eagerly watch.

With the help of local digital agencies, City of Sydney had made a considerable investment in understanding their users and devising a strategy for their new digital presence. The design creative and requirements were truly a new benchmark for council web sites, not just in Australia but around the world. Squiz was selected as the technology vendor to help them transition from concept to reality.

The success of this web project would lie not in simply picking up where City of Sydney and local digital agencies had left off but rather ensuring that every aspect of the vision was understood and executed with intended goals in mind.

Strong inter-vendor relationships would need to be formed to allow for open lines of communication that opened up insights well beyond any written documentation.

With high anticipation surrounding the launch of the new web site, Squiz and City of Sydney would have to work closely together to ensure that this large-scale project launched with its best foot forward.

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The Solution

Working with local agencies

A major factor in the success of this project was Squiz's ability to effectively work with the local strategic and digital agencies that set the direction and visual cues of the project. With extensive experience in enterprise solutions and council projects, Squiz was able to provide City of Sydney with comprehensive gap analysis and practical business-focused solutions throughout the project. This would not have been possible without forming close relationships with City of Sydney vendors to understand underlying strategy and intended outcomes.

Cutting-edge yet accessible design

Accessibility formed a key requirement of this project, with all design templates and functionality needing to conform to industry accessibility guidelines. Squiz was able to comfortably meet these requirements due to our extensive experience in designing and implementing accessibility-compliant websites. In many cases, conforming to accessibility guidelines required rethinking brand and design cues without compromising design creative, but we managed to strike the right balance.

Virtualised hosting & performance benchmarking

Squiz worked closely with City of Sydney and their virtualised hosting partner to ensure that every ounce of performance was gained from virtualised systems. This involved carefully reviewing every aspect of the web site and ensuring it could meet continual and sustained future growth in traffic well into the future. Squiz was also able to make a number of recommendations to gain further performance improvements specific to their environment and implementation.

Deep integration

Several areas of integration were rapidly and robustly made possible by powerful integration feature sets of Squiz Matrix. This allowed City of Sydney to concentrate on delivering new value rather than expending effort in modifying key business systems that were already fit for purpose and delivering results.

Powerful integration features also allowed City of Sydney to temporarily leverage existing data and systems and delay the replacement of key systems that were originally earmarked to be included in the first phase of the project at a considerable cost.

Training and documentation

Squiz provided both training and ongoing support throughout the project to ensure that the City of Sydney team could take ownership of their web site as early and effectively as possible. This was made possible through a combination of formal training sessions offering tailored skills to specialised members of the team and bespoke one-on-one workshops as the need arose throughout the project.

Content migration

To allow City of Sydney to concentrate on writing brilliant copy, Squiz provided streamlined editing interfaces and had the team up and running early in the project. This allowed scoping, build and content authoring to occur simultaneously so that the website could launch earlier than would have otherwise be possible. Squiz was able to leverage in-house content migration frameworks that assisted the content team in hitting the ground running with hassle-free access to thousands of existing documents and pages.

The Result

Watch this space as the City of Sydney website continues to grow and provide rich, engaging and useful content to its residents, tourists, commuters and local businesses.

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