An intuitive council website and intranet focussed on task completion
City of Darwin
Intranet design & development
Captovate has had a long standing working relationship with the City of Darwin. In fact, City of Darwin was Captovate’s first client when Managing Director Michael Hawkes left his role as Web Manager at CDU and started his own business. Over the 13 years Captovate has been in business, the relationship has continued to be a close one.
Captovate built CoD’s previous Drupal website back in 2009, winning the ‘Most Usable City Council Website award’ in 2010. In 2014, Captovate delivered a Drupal Intranet and in 2017 Captovate delivered their current website platform.
At CoD, stakeholder engagement is a significant focus in all of their digital projects, whether it be internal or external. When Captovate developed the staff Intranet in 2014, the first stage was undertaking an extensive user research and information architecture project.
As with many of the Intranet projects we deliver, user adoption and change management were key challenges. Intensive user engagement from the beginning was critical, not only to research needs and behaviours, but to gain buy-in to the project and uptake of the end product. This was all the more critical for CoD, where up to 300 staff are based outside the main civic centre building. Many people, such as works and regulatory officers, are highly mobile, rarely in traditional office situations, and have limited access to technology and the Internet.
Captovate led the stakeholder workshops and helped take the staff on a journey of understanding, specifically demonstrating how individual staff members play a pivotal role in making an Intranet a success within a diverse organisation. Captovate’s Information Architecture and User Experience Strategist took the lessons learnt within the workshops and distilled them into a formal content structure.
Distributed ownership and training
With the CoD website, it was important that Captovate considered the diverse range of content editors.The Council required a multi tiered approach to editing the website’s content. Individual business units have a champion who is tasked with maintaining web and intranet content. Captovate provides training to this editor group, and Captovate’s support infrastructure means these editors have a help desk they can contact for support when required. Captovate has also built an editor group structure, which means different users can only access their specific section of the site. This structure also includes Super Users, who have access permissions that allow them to perform more complex tasks
As with any large scale digital developments, content development, management and migration poses many challenges. The council’s website was content heavy, and while much of the content needed to be updated, it was not practical to start from scratch. Captovate provided significant support to the CoD marketing team in the process of defining and collecting the required content. We used the lessons learnt from the stakeholder sessions to develop a content matrix, and helped to audit current content. The content matrix included details of the various editing stages and authorisation requirements.
Using GatherContent the content from the previous website was imported into a framework that allowed the client to start the content refinement process at the beginning of the project and not have to wait until the website was built. The system includes workflows, which allows for various stages of drafting through to authorisation and sign off. The system allows for multiple editors to be working on the same content at the same time. The dashboard provides a summary of how many pieces of content are at the various stages of completion.
GatherContent has an API which is an interface that allows the content to be imported directly into Drupal. Naturally, once this has happened, manual quality assurance is still required. However, it does significantly reduce the time involved moving content into the new site. A handy function of GatherContent allows you to load images into individual lower level pages, as importing images manually can be particularly time consuming.
We use a source code repository and version control to enable multiple developers to work on a site’s source code collaboratively. This also allows us to fork, branch and merge code, drastically reducing the time and cost of pushing changes from the development sandbox to the production environment. It also allows us to maintain versioning history for quick rollbacks. An example of a Drupal site where this methodology was critical was for the CoD Intranet, where multiple developers were working on different functions, and code had to be seamlessly transitioned to the central production server.
Ongoing support relationship
Captovate hosts the website on behalf of CoD. Their Intranet is hosted internally, and Captovate holds a service level agreement to provide the support for three systems; the website, intranet and elected members intranet. Captovate has monthly meetings with their marketing team and they utilise their prepurchased support hours via our support help desk to log jobs as they occur.
…user adoption and change management were key challenges. Intensive user engagement from the beginning was critical, not only to research needs and behaviours, but to gain buy-in to the project and uptake of the end product.
Documents in the intranet