At a glance

6 to 8 weeks
Federal government
Civic tech, Web development
Agile delivery, Tools & systems, Security, Open standards & common platforms, Accessibility, Digital adoption

Vision Australia's challenge

Vision Australia had a series of digital assets that had grown organically without an overarching technical approach or vision.  With limited (no) in-house technical expertise Vision Australia needed an independent technical assessment.

Vision Australia's transformation

Salsa conducted a thorough review of Vision Australia’s current state and pain points across seven sites.  We worked with the Vision Australia  team to understand top priority issues per site, common issues across the family of sites, functional issues, and inconsistencies in editorial and user experiences.  We then made recommendations to fix the issues and also created a plan for consolidation.

The outcomes

  • Considered options for consolidation 

  • Clear pathway for strategic projects, tactical projects and business-as-usual support and maintenance

  • Recommendations for best practice engineering and governance processes

“Salsa Digital bring welcome digital expertise to the for-purpose sector and Vision Australia in particular. Their advice, technical capability, and project delivery framework ensured a smooth delivery, an excellent outcome, and a grateful client."

Anthony Miller, Senior Technology Development Manager

Vision Australia's challenge — fragmentation and technical debt

Vision Australia has seven websites each playing a role in supporting the vision impaired. The sites are:

The site owners of each site could readily identify functional issues and areas for improvement.  They were also aware of inconsistent user experiences and editorial experiences across the sites.  The Vision Australia web team suspected a level of technical debt had organically grown, however were unsure of the magnitude of the problem and how to fix it.  

Vision Australia's transformation — a considered path forward

The work was broken into three stages:

  1. Current state assessment
  2. Digital roadmap
  3. Key recommendations 

Current state assessment

Salsa ran workshops to understand pain points with the existing sites. We then identified issues to investigate per site and issues to assess across all sites. With a fixed budget, some rationalisation was then necessary.  The matrix of investigation is shown below post review (green indicating review complete):

Current state assessment

Current state assessment
Download Current state assessment

The focus (the left-hand column) was on editorial experience, user experience, integration, and general assessment (covering architecture, development processes, configuration and security).  Each site was represented as a column in the matrix.

Digital roadmap

Salsa compiled recommendations per site for each area of investigation as well as compiling overarching recommendations relevant to all sites. A digital roadmap was created to orientate each of the recommendations and to estimate the implementation effort. With each recommendation quantified, including the tactical recommendations and the longer-term options, Vision Australia and Salsa were able to make practical and pragmatic decisions regarding the path forward and the associated investment needed.

Salsa’s high level digital roadmap is shown below.  A recommendation document provided more detail for each cell on the roadmap, solution approach to delivery, and a considered estimate.

Feature Matrix

Feature Matrix
Download Feature Matrix

Key recommendations

Salsa’s key recommendations included:

  • Security issues to be addressed as critical priority

  • Tactical recommendations to be executed via a series of statement of works (projects):

    • Editorial quick wins

    • Security updates

    • User experience quick wins

  • Strategic long-term improvement options to be discussed:

    • Adoption of unified design system

    • Rebuild of content types to use a component-based system

    • Commit to regular site maintenance schedule with security updates

    • Commit to automated testing and continuous integration

Salsa compiled the following strategic options for consolidation and presented pros and cons for each.  This allowed Vision Australia to make an informed decision.  

Key recommendations

Key recommendations
Download Key recommendations

The outcomes — confidence in a digital transformation path

The high-level outcomes for Vision Australia and its customers are:

  • Confidence in the level of technical dept and approach to consolidation

  • A clear digital roadmap to address site pain points with considered estimates for changes 

  • A holistic recommendation to address common issues across all sites, and strategic recommendations for technical consolidation

  • Planned enhancements to improve the user experience across all sites such as application of standard design system components, more consistent mobile experience, improved accessibility support, more consistent navigation and UX.

  • A digital transformation roadmap for Vision Australia 

Salsa and Vision Australia

Since the review Salsa has provided Vision Australia with business-as-usual Drupal engineering services, including technical leadership of a successful Drupal 9 upgrade. Vision Australia and Salsa are in the process of establishing a broader engagement encompassing business-as-usual Drupal engineering services, complete project delivery of packages of work and also, significantly, high value ongoing technical architecture advice. 

This partnership and our vision for the future is significant for Salsa given the social cause of providing better digital services for Australians who are blind or have low vision.

About Vision Australia

Vision Australia is a leading national provider of blindness and low vision services in Australia. It works in partnership with more than 25,000 Australians who are blind or have low vision. Vision Australia is a not-for-profit organisation and a major participant and partner in the international blindness community.

Vision Australia is also the authority on accessibility audits via its Digital Access services.