Some say that no website can be all things to all people. But the City of Melville was on a mission to build a local council website to rule them all - suitable for residents, businesses, councillors AND visitors alike. So of course, they came to the experts.

Website / Government

Case Study

A local council has many masters - residents, businesses, councillors and visitors all need easy access to different information quickly and easily. It’s no mean feat to build a website that caters to such a vast array of different users, but it’s an even bigger ask to build a brilliantly functional website that does all this and still looks modern, contemporary and fresh.

Luckily, the City of Melville called the right people. With Alyka’s extensive background building dozens of local councils websites, we had the expertise and the know how to help them get the perfect outcome for every one of their key stakeholders.

The old Melville site needed a complete overhaul. The most important requirements for the City were that their new site needed to:

  • Meet the City’s needs as a major communication, service and engagement channel.
  • Provide a great user experience for customers visiting the site.
  • Provide a great user experience for staff managing website content.
  • Feature a clean, modern design that was easy and intuitive to use on all devices
  • Be designed in accordance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Level AA rating for website accessibility

While this may sound like a lot to handle, here at Alyka we love a good challenge, and our motto is to ‘eat the elephant one bite at a time’.

So we started right at the beginning and focused on getting one piece of the puzzle in place at a time, by working closely with the City at every stage to make sure we were alway tracking in the right direction for them.

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The Challenge

The main challenge that every local council faces is balancing the need for a fully accessible website (that meets AA accessibility standards) with the desire for a beautiful and dynamic interface.

Alyka’s expertise in this area is second to none as we’ve now got multiple accessibility accredited websites under our belt. Even so, it’s always a fun ride ensuring that we build in all the necessary features to make sure our websites are accessible to a wide range of users - including those with with disabilities such as blindness, low vision, hearing loss and cognitive limitations.

Our team of designers and developers also faced the challenge of incorporating a huge amount of functionality into the back end of the website. With a total of 11 modules (ranging from the all important Minutes & Agendas module right through to a full Active Directory integration), 14 widgets and 16 different templates - we had a lot of complex tech requirements to meet, while still making sure users could easily navigate the site to find the content they need.

The Solution

For the City of Melville, we were single minded in our focus to marry extreme usability with outstanding design.
 
The City of Melville had already done a huge amount of work on their information architecture (aka their ‘sitemap’) and came to Alyka with their ideal customer journey maps. Working closely with the City, we wireframed and prototyped every single template and meticulously identified the content hierarchy that would best serve all of the City’s users.
 
We then worked closely with the Melville project team to create a bespoke design that showcased the Melville brand while still meeting the colour contrast and font ratios needed to make sure the website passed muster when it came to accessibility.
 
Our front end developers (the gurus of HTML and CSS) then worked with our back end developers (the ninjas of .NET and databases) to ensure every piece of code across the entire site was perfectly structured and implemented to meet the highest development standards possible. Together, they created the perfect connection between editor controlled content and system controlled content to ultimately achieve a seamlessly integrated solution.

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The Results

Sometimes it really is best to let the stats speak for themselves!

3 months post launch, we checked in on how the website was performing and it’s safe to say that we knocked it out of the park with this one. Number of sessions, unique visitors and average time spent on page have all increased and the upwards trend is only continuing. 

Even better, the feedback from the City of Melville has warmed the hearts of the entire project team:

We have had great feedback from our executives, managers, staff and elected members. Our customer services team love it too. It’s good to now be going live in a nice calm way. We have loved working with the Alyka team...we are very proud of our new website and can safely say today it’s just perfect - in a nice quiet hmmmm of post launch satisfaction. Our two teams have worked together in such an awesome way!

The City of Melville have also received continued feedback about the success and usability of their internal site search from very happy customers.

We’re really proud of the way the whole team was able to pull together and work collaboratively to deliver outstanding results on such a complex, large scale project.
 

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