We’re designing and building our new beta website based on the Digital Transformation Agency's (DTA) Digital Service Standard (DSS).
The service design and delivery process guides the delivery of Government’s digital services (like this website) through 4 stages — discovery, alpha, beta and live. Following these stages helps us to deliver a website that is effective, robust and, most importantly, meets user needs.
We are continually developing and improving our beta website, guided by the DSS. The standard has 13 criteria that help government to deliver digital services that are user-centred, simple, clear and fast.
During our beta development we repeat the following steps:
- design and build
- get feedback
We are rewriting content from our existing website in stages. For each stage, the first step is to work with stakeholders to identify the information our users need.
Once we know what our users need, we audit and analyse existing content to:
- identify the content — across all our websites — that meets those needs
- determine its quality — is it accurate and up-to-date?
- find duplicated content that can be consolidated
- discover the gaps that we need to fill with new content
- identify content that's no longer needed — so it can be archived.
Analysing our content helps us to make it clear, useful, easier to manage and user-driven. User-driven content (content our users actually need) underpins both DTA standards and our processes.
Restructure (Information Architecture)
Once we have the results from our analysis, we create a new structure, or Information Architecture (IA), for our content.
Our IA defines how we:
- structure our content
- provide navigation
- classify or ‘tag’ our content
- present content to specific audiences
- implement consistency with design patterns
- make search fast and easy to use
Our new IA organises all of our website content into streams. Our streams cover all the major types of information we have:
- health topics
- initiatives and programs
- news and events
- resources — our publications and videos
- corporate content — information about us.
All of our content exists in only one stream, but we can link to it wherever needed.
Grouping our content in this way means it is better organised — so you can find it more easily! It also helps us remove duplications and display content consistently, so you know what to expect.
Browsing our website means you’ll use our navigational systems and menus. People browse in different ways, so we have multiple navigational systems — global, local, contextual and supplemental — so that everyone can find what they need, whatever way they use.
For example, our global navigational main menu is visible across every page under the header. It helps you return to the main streams no matter which page you’re currently on.
Our local navigation menu helps you move up and down pages within a specific area.
For the first time, our website provides tags for contextual navigation. These help you to move across the website to more information on related topics. Tags are shown near the bottom of most pages, above the footer.
Also for the first time, we’re using supplemental navigation to provide ‘top tasks’ for our health topics. You’ll see these on the health topic landing pages. They provide you with links to information so you can complete the most common topic tasks quickly.
We use metadata to describe or ‘tag’ all of the content that we create within our beta website. Metadata helps us to create our health topics, make our content dynamic and provide filters for lists and search results.
Wherever possible, we use the the National Archives AGLS Metadata Standard and the terms and labels we use are tightly controlled to provide consistency.
Information for specific audiences
We can also use our 'tags' to present information to specific audiences — no matter which stream that content lives in: health topics, news, or resources. For example, we can provide all the information we have tagged with 'pregnancy' from multiple topics (such as immunisation schedules, impacts on pregnancy of smoking, latest news on pregnancy and mental health) in one place.
Providing information to specific audiences means you don’t have to go through each separate stream or topic to find it. You can get the information you want based on who you are and life events — faster.
Lots of our website visitors like to use search to find the information they want. We have 2 types of search: global (searches the entire website) and local (searches just the page you’re on and sub-pages). Global search is always available at the top right of every page.
Many of our listing pages (for example the health topics listing) include a search above the list. This helps you search just within that area (health topics).
To help you narrow down your search results, whether global or local, you can use filters. Filters use the metadata assigned using our classification systems and help you find what you need faster.
Once we know what information we need, and where it will be within our new IA, our content analysts and writers work with stakeholders to rewrite existing content and create new content.
- apply a consistent government style based on the DTA’s content guidelines
- place the most important information at the top of the page
- use plain English, aiming for a readability level of grade 8
- make sure our information is current and correct
- provide information in different and interesting ways, such as with videos and infographics
- use short paragraphs, clear headings and lists so content is easy to scan and read
- make sure we’re not repeating content, so that there’s a single source of truth
- make sure our content is accessible
- use language understood by our users
Design and build
Our beta website is built on GovCMS, a web platform used by many government agencies. We are also using the DTA’s Design System which provides shared website components that allow our website to look and behave like many other government websites — so you know what to expect.
We’re creating design patterns to help us make the tasks you perform (and your experience) consistent across the entire website. For example:
- when you select a menu item, it will work the same way each time and become easier for you the more you use it
- when you download a document the page will look the same and the way you use the ‘download’ button will also be the same
- ‘tags’ will look and work the same, always helping you find related information
We are focused on keeping our website simple and uncluttered, which makes it easier for you to find and understand the information you need.
We will regularly release new features, content, updates and fixes to provide a better website experience for you. Each time we do, we will provide information about what the release includes, why it is important, where you’ll see the changes and how to get support.
Each release has a number in the format x.x.x.
Major releases such as the first launch of the beta website, or the addition of an entirely new health topic will have release numbers where the first number changes. For example, 1.0.0, 2.0.0, or 3.0.0. This is called semantic versioning.
Minor releases such as fixes to pages or changes to buttons will have release numbers where the second number changes. For example, 1.1.0, 2.1.0 or 2.2.0.
If there are specific items to test within a release, you’ll also be able to take a survey to provide feedback.
View all releases.
As we develop the beta website, we will give you the chance to provide feedback through:
- targeted surveys — questions about a specific release to test the new content and/or features within them
- general surveys — questions about general topics, content or functionality to test items for upcoming releases or across multiple previous releases
- general feedback — you can fill in our feedback form at any time to tell us what you think of the website
Getting your feedback helps us to make improvements.
View all surveys.
We review your feedback, forward it to the right people, and make sure it’s followed up. This helps ensure that we:
- learn from your feedback
- identify content and functionality to add, update and fix in upcoming releases
- continually improve our website
When survey results become available, we will add it to that survey’s notes. You can access the surveys and any notes from the surveys listing.