Coun­cil pre­pares to in­tro­duce two spruced up sites

Eastern Courier - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - JAMES PASLEY

Auck­land Coun­cil and Auck­land Li­braries have given a sneak pre­view of their new web­sites that are 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 coun­cil web­site will sup­port the de­vel­op­ment of online pay­ments, book build­ing in­spec­tions, and sort out re­source con­sents online.

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

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

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

Coun­cil’s web­site has more than 4300 pages and 26,000 PDFs mak­ing the site clunky and dif­fi­cult to nav­i­gate. Be­ban says the cur­rent web­site is not in­tu­itive and doesn’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 says.

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

In com­par­i­son, Christchurch Coun­cil’s web­site re­ceives about 13,000 views a day, Wellington Coun­cil around 7000 views, and In­land Rev­enue Depart­ment 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.

Be­ban says the two web­sites would al­low users to log in to pay rates, reg­is­ter dogs, and browse the li­brary online with­out needing du­pli­cate ac­counts.

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 three stages.

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

‘‘Coun­cil's $3.95m web­site will have a stag­gered re­lease.’’

JAMES PASLEY / FAIR­FAX NZ

Auck­land Coun­cil and Auck­land Li­braries are un­veil­ing new web­sites worth $5.75 mil­lion, says project leader Wendy Be­ban, as the pre­sent soft­ware is near­ing the end of its life.

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