At a glance

Discovery & strategy, Design & user research, Build & migration

The purpose

To build a secure and reliable website to ensure TEQSA met its project deadlines.

The players

The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) is Australia’s independent national quality assurance and regulatory agency for higher education.

The problem

TEQSA was running a Drupal 6 site, with an on-site server and technical maintenance overheads that had become unmanageable. The content was also in need of an overhaul, with lots of legacy and outdated content on the site making it difficult for users to find information.

TEQSA was interested in moving across to GovCMS and contracted Acquia for an initial assessment and a discovery report. The report identified the need to:

  • Create a secure, dynamic and interactive user-centric website
  • Produce website content that was clear, targeted and effective
  • Deliver a practical and cost-effective solution for website hosting and maintenance
  • Review and update the information architecture (IA)
  • Rewrite content to improve usability and content migration services
  • Improve functionality and content within the National Register
  • User research and analysis
  • Improve accessibility of content (e.g. minimum WCAG 2.0 AA)
  • Improve web publishing workflow

The solution

The main deliverables for the engagement were user research, site redesign and, of course, the site build.

The project kicked off with user research, which Salsa Digital outsourced to user experts, Folk. The user research focused on the different audience segments, analysing their needs, motivations and pain points and validating the proposed IA.

Some of Folk’s high-level recommendations included:

  • Clear content taxonomy
  • Navigation update, focusing on the users’ tasks
  • Migrating PDF content into HTML pages
  • Language simplification
  • Breaking content up into smaller chunks

The site build initially used a vanilla, standard GovCMS default theme. The focus during the initial stage of the project was to build the required functions and not prioritise the creative design. Salsa Digital worked collaboratively with TEQSA to understand in detail the required functions then implement these functions for GovCMS (SaaS).

Then the project scope broadened and Salsa Digital focused on the design. Working on key pages such as the homepage, landing pages and the publications page, we wireframed the pages to give TEQSA a good idea of each page’s layout. From here, the TEQSA brand was applied, and the wireframes were transformed into high fidelity design for desktop and mobile.

For cost benefits we used the GovCMS default theme as the foundation for the site’s look and feel because it was already compliant (meeting W3C accessibility standards) and responsive (to mobile and desktop).

Once the design was applied to the site, content was loaded by the TEQSA team and we managed the process of moving the new site onto the Department of Finance’s (DoF) GovCMS SaaS platform.

TEQSA was able to launch the site ready for a very large external conference that promoted the new site heavily, and the new website was well received.

Notable features of the new site include:

  • Integration of the National Register.

  • Discovery tools, such as the facet-based searching/filtering features, in particular filtering by content type (such as publications).

  • Promotion of social media content to better utilise Twitter messages and the like to improve audience engagement and currency of content on the site.

  • Automated listings including news.

  • Automated homepage components to promote and feature content.

  • Side navigation to help users find information (for an example see the Providers section).

“The Salsa team provided us with support and advice that helped this project get over the line, not only before our deadline, but to a high quality. The entire team was always accessible and willing to provide us with advice that will allow us to manage and build on our new site in the future.” Raphael May Assistant Director, Communications, TEQSA

The benefits

TEQSA’s new site now looks more visually appealing, and the user interface has been updated to create a more engaging user experience. In addition, the IA overhaul means users can find information quickly and easily.

TEQSA now experiences all the benefits of GovCMS, such as:

  • A stable and reliable CMS
  • An enterprise-grade CMS vetted and approved by the DoF
  • 24x7 enterprise support and proactive monitoring
  • Security compliance at the highest level
  • An easy-to-use CMS

Like many government agencies, the robust and secure nature of GovCMS is an important benefit of the platform.

In addition, the new site gives TEQSA the flexibility to ‘build’ pages with a variety of templates and components to tailor each page to their needs. The GovCMS workflow provides editor and approver roles, delivering complete control with automated workflow.

Finally, the new site is responsive, so it can be viewed from mobiles and tablets as well as desktop computers.

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.

We were originally recommended by Acquia as one of their preferred partners. We’re also the DoF’s preferred training provider, so we can also offer government agencies training before and after project implementation — an end-to-end service.

“As a communications professional with limited technical website experience, the team at Salsa was always able to explain processes simply, ensuring I was across all aspects of the website’s build.” Raphael May Assistant Director, Communications, TEQSA