Entry received from: Hamilton City Council
Category: The Datacom Award for Digital Local Government

Websites are critical tools for requesting services, sharing information, and engaging with the community, even more so in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our previous hamilton.govt.nz website was created in 2011 and had undergone no significant improvements over its decade in production. More than 1,400 Hamiltonians do business with us online each day and many described our website as a nuisance and a barrier. The old website was pushing the public to seek out other ways of interacting with us, often requiring more staff time and creating additional frustrations.

We google everything these days, because a good search engine saves time and usually knows exactly what we want and that was the rationale for the simple, stripped-back look of the new website.

This project set out to redesign the website from the ground up, including a complete visual redesign, a UX redesign, a complete content rewrite, and a new content management and governance structure for a vastly improved user experience, centred around a smart new search function.

The project began in March 2020 developing through five stages to launch 20 July 2022:

  1. Discovery and user research
  2. Design
  3. Build
  4. User Acceptance Testing (UAT)
  5. Go live

This process included a deep audit of our website user data and our business, user research, usability testing, and competitive benchmarking against Australasian and International government bodies and private businesses.

Thank you to our category sponsor