The VCAA website is the key channel for providing information to the organisation’s government and non-government clients and stakeholders, seeing heavy usage with the site accessed 4.2 million times by 1.3 million users in 2017.
Implemented in 2015, the site had grown unwieldy in its structure, with most sought-after information difficult to find in a confusing information architecture, poor SEO implementation; common tasks difficult to complete; and over 8000 documents held.
The structure, design and content needed updating to better reflect the role of VCAA in curriculum design and assessment for educators, parents and students and to ensure full responsiveness for mobile users.
We started with a content audit to quantify content assets, analysed Google Analytics and made recommendations for content archiving to reduce webpages by 30 per cent.
To understand user preferences and pain points, we conducted a Loop11 study and 3 focus groups with 30 parents, students and educators.
Using this research, we devised a user-centric information architecture and tested and refined the structure with 94 users who achieved 70 per cent success rate.
We developed 10 responsive wireframes promoting high-use tasks and services, together with detailed functional specifications. Moderated usability testing with 6 participants validated the design and functionality as informative, easy to use and understandable with an extremely high score of 94.2 for usability and 100 for learnability (SUS). WCAG 2.0 compliant designs were developed based on the wireframes and specifications.
We engaged VCAA staff to validate the vision for a user-centric information architecture and wireframes. The solution offered easily browsable, readable, accessible content with a sophisticated search for effective discovery of VCAAs significant content assets.
To support content production we developed:
- content strategy
- content migration plan
- content life cycle plan
- content templates and 20 pages of priority content in GatherContent.
Outcomes and benefits
- The new website solution broadens the effectiveness of the site to meet both the needs of parents and students as well as the core audience of educators, and moves away from a content-heavy and complex website to simple, intuitive, searchable digital platform.
- Significant content for non-school users to help them navigate Victoria’s curriculum and assessment framework (‘How curriculum and assessment works’).
- The solution included an emphasis on succinct, purposeful and task-based content.
- Specifications for the Replacement Results and School Study Search – two significant functional components of the site.