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Site migration and improved user journeys for

A team at Salsa and the Department of Communications and the Arts worked closely to deliver a new website on GovCMS 8 SaaS. The project focused on user needs (in line with the DTA’s Digital Service Standard) and re-using standard components from the Australian Government Design System. The new site delivers improved user journeys for citizens/parents and industry users.

Site launch: November 2019

The players

The Australian Classification Board makes classification decisions for movies, games and some other publications, classifying them as G, PG, M, etc. The Commonwealth Department of Communications and the Arts (DoCA) is responsible for the Classification website. The website hosts classification decisions dating back to 1972 with 1.8 million films, games and publications classified.

The problem

The Classification website was built on a proprietary CMS, Sharepoint. The site was last redeveloped 10 years ago. The CMS was dated, content was unstructured and duplicated, and didn’t comply with many current digital standards. The two primary audiences (citizens (most commonly parents) and industry users) had compromised user journeys. To solve these problems, DoCA was looking at bringing the Classification website across to GovCMS, using the DTA’s Digital Service Standard, and applying the DTA’s Australian Design System to ensure key usability and accessibility issues were identified and addressed.

Both citizens/parents and industry had barriers to common use-cases. Parents who were primarily interested in finding appropriate titles for their children were having difficulty understanding the classification system ratings and the appropriateness of each rating. Parents were also faced with barriers to finding titles once they did have some understanding of the different ratings. Industry users faced barriers finding details about particular past classification decisions for titles of interest.

The solution

The first part of the solution was a three-day site assessment which identified 79 requirements and recommended GovCMS 8 SaaS, after considering each of these requirements in detail. Salsa’s blog GovCMS Site Assessment for the Australian Movie and Games Classification Board - Classification provides details of this process. From there, the user research/user testing started, alongside the initial stages of the site build/migration and technical investigations.

The user research, and greater UX process, included:

  • Salsa partnering with Today to deliver the user research/UX

  • Using paper-based models to quickly arrange combinations of the design system components to arrive at options for key pages, and then using this process to define an initial creative design

  • Defining key test scenarios for citizen/parent and industry users

  • Recruiting representative users for both industry and citizens/parents (six from each were used)

  • Creating an interactive prototype to allow the testing of each user scenario as a flow through the system

  • Conducting testing for both citizens/parents and industry

  • Compiling findings and key recommendations

  • Iterating designs based on findings to formulate a final design ready for build

The technical process included:

  • Building a proof of concept integration to a DoCA API to ingest title information (film, game and publication) from the National Classification Database (NCD)

  • Designing and catering for the ingestion of movie poster images using the same API

  • Working with GovCMS/Department of Finance to reach in-principle agreement for inclusion of required modules into GovCMS 8 SaaS

  • Migration of 1.8 million existing classification records into the new GovCMS site

  • Load testing the site with consideration of typical and peak numbers for new classifications and changes

The build process included:

  • Agreeing/compiling user stories as a backlog of functional requirements

  • Working with the DoCA Product Owner to prioritise requirements and formulate a series of build sprints (we ended up delivering eight sprints)

  • Building and testing each sprint, while planning the next sprint

  • Incorporating the work from the proof-of-concept exercises mentioned in the technical process

  • Running the new build, prior to live, in parallel with the existing build to validate important data requirements such as the display of latest classified titles and the search results

  • Planning and executing the live cut-over

The benefits

The benefits of the new website include:

  • Hosting on GovCMS SaaS platform for security and site management

  • A new, visually appealing website

  • Improved presentation and usability so site visitors can make more informed decisions (e.g. parents wanting to understand suitability of title content for their children)

  • Site designs and features created in close consultation with user research and user testing for improved usability

The new site matrix provides an easy, visual way to find out more about a classification.

Users can also see the latest classification decisions.

Why Salsa Digital?

DoCA had been very happy with our work on the main Department of Communications and the Arts website. The Department knew first-hand about our extensive knowledge and experience in GovCMS, which made us an ideal candidate for the site assessment (initially) and then the site build, which we won based on our thorough proposal/response.

“Salsa have provided the department with a consistently high standard of service. When partnering with them, we are reassured that projects will be user focussed, developed in line with industry standard and with a laugh or two along the way.”
Sarah Christie, Director Creative Services, Department of Communications and the Arts 


About Salsa Digital

We’re an open source digital agency focused on helping governments and enterprises become more open, more connected and more consolidated. We’re committed to the open government movement and to the many benefits this ethos provides including transparency, innovation, and sharing and improving problems and patterns solved by the pioneers before us.

The open source movement has played a key role in the evolution of Salsa. Over the years, as technology and practices have developed, this commitment to open source has grown to encompass a much broader base beyond open source CMSsopen data, open platform and open design. We contribute and deliver services in all these areas, with a strong involvement in specific open source initiatives such as Drupal, Wordpress, GovCMS, Single Digital Presence, Kubernetes/Lagoon and CKAN.

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