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Victorian Budget delivered on govCMS

Salsa Digital created a more interactive, citizen-centric website for the 2016/2017 Victorian State Budget. The site’s also Victoria’s first govCMS website.

The players

The Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) works with the Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF) on elements of the Victorian State Budget — including the website.

The problem

The DTF had always delivered budget information as PDFs housed on the existing DTF site. However, with so many users accessing information from tablets and devices, this format was outdated. In addition, the old budget web pages didn’t guide citizens to the parts of the budget that affected them, and the Victorian budget site was the only state site that didn’t support specific geographic overlay to budget data.

The DPC had been investigating the Australian-government content management system, govCMS, and knew the budget site was an ideal project for the DPC to ‘test drive’ govCMS.

The solution

With a tight time frame (seven weeks), Salsa Digital hit the ground running, focusing on agile methodology to deliver the project on time and keep all parties in the feedback loop.

Design

The DPC wanted to leverage existing design elements from its Regional Victoria website. This helped with the tight timeframes but also DPC’s design approach of creating an evolving design framework as a foundation for future websites.

Salsa added to the compelling DPC design with a handful of refinements and usability enhancements. The result is a design that’s on brand, citizen-focused and visually appealing.

Engineering

The build needed to keep the user (citizens) front of mind and the site delivers a citizen-centric experience through:

  • Improved pathways to content so users can find out how the budget benefits/impacts them personally.
  • Increased interactivity, with interactive maps so people can locate their region quickly and easily and identify what budget initiatives impact their area.
  • Graphs that quickly and easily convey budget statistics.
  • Accessible design and content, WCAG 2.0 AA compliant so people of varying cognitive abilities can still access it (e.g. using screen readers).
  • Responsive on different devices so content can be read easily on tablets and smartphones as well as desktop computers.
  • Project profile pages to provide key information on each specific budget initiative

The benefits

The new budget website makes information more accessible to citizens. It’s easier to access, easier to understand and easier to make the connection about how the budget impacts their lives personally, in their region.

Using govCMS and Salsa Digital’s experience with this CMS, the DPC has been able to deliver improved content and accessibility to Victorian residents. The Victorian State Budget website follows user-centric best practices, while also giving DPC all the benefits of the robust, open-source govCMS solution.

The stats support these benefits, with the overall number of sessions increasing from 19,653 last year to 29,646 this year (based on the one week following the budget announcement). That’s a 66% increase. In addition, mobile traffic sessions increased by 35% for the same period.

Why Salsa Digital?

Salsa Digital is an Acquia partner with a proven track record working with both Acquia and govCMS. Our developers have experience and accreditation in Drupal/govCMS and in March 2016 we were named Acquia’s Partner of the Year Asia Pacific and Japan (2016). We’re trusted in the marketplace and we know the product extremely well.

In addition, Salsa’s experience using agile methodologies helps to deliver speed and risk mitigation to all projects.

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