Over the last few years we have seen some excellent EHQ examples originating in New Zealand. Western Bay of Plenty District Council come to mind, as well as Auckland Transport, who recently broke the mapping record. Our newest client in New Zealand is the NZ Transport Agency who launched their site just a couple of days ago with the help of consultancy Just Add Lime. And it is one not to be missed!
Client: NZ Transport Agency, New Zealand.
Template: Whitehaven, bypassing the landing page.
Project: Northern Corridor Improvements
Publish Date: 02 June 2016
Topic: The NZ Government has announced the next stage of the Northern Corridor improvements project on Auckland's North Shore. The community is now asked to provide feedback and views on the proposed plan.
Tools: 3x Survey, Mapper
Widgets: Lifecycle, 2x Photo widgets, Key Dates, Who's Listening
- Project description: Usually we are looking for short project descriptions, but in this case the lengthy text does not do any harm, but outlines nicely where the project is at and why the community is asked for feedback. We especially like the "What's happening now?" and "What happens next?" bits as they give an indication of various stages of the project in plain English.
In addition, the project description contains plenty of links to help the visitor navigate through the site with ease.
- Mix of tools: Just like last fortnight's staff pick, the survey and mapping tools are in combined use. The two projects are similar in nature so it shouldn't surprise and it appears that transport related projects work quite well with those two tools in joint use.
- Surveys in different languages: In the past, we have seen a few projects include Google translate in a custom widget as an option for visitors to view a project in different languages, as you can see on the City of Rockdale EHQ. The drawback with that is that Google translates the site on the fly and it may not be a 100% accurate. The better option is to provide important content in different languages from the start. In this project the team at NZ Transport Agency have provided the survey both in Chinese and Korean. A great way to include a community with English as a second language.
- Survey in print: For participants who like to take their time and fill in a paper based survey, the team has provided the option to do so by including the survey in PDF. This is standard function of EHQ and you can do the same. Read more about it here.
- Key Dates: The widget outlines dates when public 'open day' session are held. Clicking on any date will provide more detail on the session, although a little more detail, such as address, would have been useful as well.
For further consideration:
Support documents: Although the project description and the photo widgets provide some detail on the proposed plans, the project is missing key documents. It may not be relevant for this stage of the consultation, but it feels like something may be missing here.
- Renaming tabs: The tool tabs should have been renamed to offer a clear call to action, such "Take the survey" or "Get involved in the map". Calls to actions are a great way to guide visitors to the engagement tools on a page.
OVERALL: A good looking project with a unique twist. Offering the main survey in multiple languages is a great idea if you have the resources to provide a certified translation, as opposed to relying solely on a Google Translate widget as the other alternative. It is also good to see that the survey was provided as a PDF for visitors who may like to print it and send it in via post. Overall a great first project from NZ Transport Agency and one to build on.
NOTE: The article above is based on a visit to the site on 21 June 2016. Changes made to the project after that date may have altered the appearance of the project.