An agile approach
Using Squiz Agile, our adaptation of Scrum, we were able to resolve Timaru's challenges in the following ways:
UX research combined with analytics data gathered from Timaru's existing websites lead to actionable insights and evidence-backed solution design.
Flexible, collaborative and transparent development processes kept the project team involved at every point allowing for informed decisions to be made through the project.
'Constantly delivering' allowed credibility to build and trust to form between both teams.
'Constantly showing' features/functionality as they evolved allowed the client's familiarity with the build and appreciation of the possibilities to grow with the project.
Putting their very capable developer through Matrix training early, allowed him to share the development workload, accelerating the build and extending what could be achieved within the project.
Putting the user experience first
Our UX team employed various methodologies such as online surveys, reverse card sorting and first-click testing to include the community in the project. That way, we could ensure that residents were involved in building a site that was intuitive and useful to them. Additionally, the website has been designed to be accessible and meet NZ eGoverment standards to ensure content is accessible for all.
Building a modern, responsive site
A 'Flat UI' design aesthetic was followed in redesigning the site and effort put into leveraging CSS3 transitions and animations to enhance the user experience. The site is responsive and robust on all devices. Particular effort was put into a mobile menu that lets you drill up and down through the structure of the site.
Complete integration with Matrix
Integration also powers the MyTDC online accounts that ratepayers can sign up for, allowing them to view all their council-related information such as properties-owned, dogs registered and any applications being processed.
Record searches made simple
Using the integration approach outlined above, we make it easy for users to search and view important documents such as cemetery records, property and rates records and application records. Cemetery, district plan, facilities and property web maps are interwoven with the above record searches.
A bucketload of new functionality
To make the experience even better for both the council and their ratepayers, we worked together to build new tools that allow people to apply online for jobs and consultations. There's also a way to search for meeting minutes and agendas, along with a fully-functional meetings calendar.
Timaru wanted to share the love by enabling other organisations in their area such as Timaru Port and the adjacent Waimate District Council to host their websites on TDC's Squiz Matrix platform under a shared services model.