We have launched a new corporate website! With over 50% of our ratepayers living for most of the time in other regions of New Zealand, it is vital that the Council uses information technology, like the website, to enable cost-effective and efficient communication with the large non-resident population as well as allow them and others to conduct online transactions from home or at work. Project Scope To create an information rich and easily accessible website that reduces "transaction costs" to the organisation by reducing such things as phone calls to customer services and through stimulating more use of the online functionality (paying rates online etc). To reduce the number of pdfs by increasing the amount of searchable content on the site. (Pdfs can't be picked up by search results). This will make it easier to find information. To rewrite some sections of the website to improve communication and understanding. To ensure the information architecture and taxonomy (where content is located and what the 'buckets' of information are called) is improved to ensure customers can easily naivgate through the site to find what they are looking for. To identify content gaps and write new content to improve access to all of the Council's services and information. To redesign the "look and feel" of the site to ensure the website is easy to use. To improve the processes to review and update content to ensure the website, at all times, is carrying relevant, accurate and timely information. Creative and technology partners Much of the project work has been managed by Council staff (such as content development, project management, back-end technical work etc), but we are using external specialists to help us with the creative side to the project and the development of the content management system. Creative partner: Son's and Co. This company has designed the site and is developing the HTML side of the project (code the website is written in and the stuff the customer sees). Other sites designed by Son's and Co. Bethere Christchurch Art Gallery Destination Marlborough The Designer’s Institute of NZ - Design Awards Nelson Events website Technology partner: Intergen. This company is developing the templates and content management system (CMS - the back-end stuff staff will use to manage the site on a day-to-day basis). Frequently Asked Questions Why is the Council redesigning its website? One important reason the Council is updating its website and the processes arond improving content management, is to take transaction costs out of the business by providing better information and functionality online. This means over the long term, we can reduce certain costs by using the website more effectively. Another reason is to improve customer service. The project also aims to make it easier and more efficient for people to do business with the Council by providing a website that allows customers to find out information and conduct e-commerce from home or at work 24/7. With large tourist numbers during summer, and with 50% of our residents not living here permanently, it makes sense that this Council should provide good online services and timely information. What is a content management system (CMS)? A content management system (CMS) is a software system that provides website authoring, collaboration, and administration tools designed to allow users with little knowledge of web programming languages to create and manage website content with relative ease. A robust CMS provides the foundation for collaboration, offering users the ability to manage documents and output for multiple author editing and participation. What is information architecture (IA)? For a website, information architecture refers to the navigation structure of the website (where information is grouped and placed). It is the method of organizing and labeling a website. What is taxonomy? Taxonomy is the practice and science of classification. For a website it refers to what labels are used to group information together (i.e. Services A to Z is the 'bucket' of information about all Council services on this website). What is HTML? HTML, which stands for HyperText Markup Language, is the predominant software language for web pages. HTML is the basic building-blocks of webpages.