Coun­cil’s big web­site makeover

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - JAMES PASLEY

Auck­land Coun­cil and Auck­land Li­braries have given a sneak pre­view of their new web­sites worth $5.75 mil­lion.

Coun­cil’s $3.95m web­site will have a stag­gered release over the next three months and Auck­land Li­braries $1.8m site will go live in Septem­ber.

The web­sites aim to make online in­ter­ac­tion eas­ier through sim­pler lan­guage, short suc­cinct pages and smarter search engines with a fo­cus on mo­bile ac­cess.

The new web­site will sup­port the devel­op­ment of online pay­ments, book building in­spec­tions, and sort out re­source con­sents online.

Coun­cil’s cus­tomer cen­tric trans­for­ma­tion (CCT) was be­hind the re­de­vel­op­ment.

CCT’s dig­i­tal head Wendy Be­ban said the rea­son for the new web­sites was that the cur­rent soft­ware was near­ing the end of its life, mean­ing if it was left as it was it would pose a se­cu­rity risk.

The cur­rent web­sites were cre­ated when Auck­land Coun­cil was amal­ga­mated in 2010, and eight coun­cil web­sites and seven li­brary web­sites were merged into one web­site for each or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Coun­cil’s web­site had more than 4300 pages and 26000 PDFs mak­ing the site dif­fi­cult to nav­i­gate. Be­ban said the cur­rent web­site was not in­tu­itive and didn’t func­tion prop­erly on mo­bile tech­nol­ogy.

‘‘Cus­tomers are com­ing into it con­fused and I’d have to say they’re com­ing out of it even more con­fused,’’ Be­ban said.

Com­bined the web­sites re­ceived 15 mil­lion views per year, with an av­er­age of 40,000 views a day.

In com­par­i­son Christchurch Coun­cil’s web­site re­ceived about 13,000 views a day, Welling­ton Coun­cil had around 7,000 views and In­land Rev­enue Depart­ment had about 60,000 views.

Auck­land Li­braries’ new web­site will be stripped right back, and will fea­ture a ‘belt of books’, show­ing users new ti­tles and pop­u­lar reads echo­ing li­brar­ian’s rec­om­men­da­tions online.

More than 10,000 users pro­vided feed­back on coun­cil’s pre­vi­ous web­site and coun­cil will ask for fur­ther feed­back as it re­leases the web­site in stages.

The first ver­sion of the coun­cil web­site will be avail­able in May, with later re­leases in July and Septem­ber.

The two or­gan­i­sa­tions de­cided against cre­at­ing phone apps be­cause it wasn’t cost ef­fec­tive.

JAMES PASLEY/FAIRFAX NZ

Auck­land Coun­cil and Auck­land Li­braries have un­veiled new web­sites worth $5.75 mil­lion.

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