A new outlook on content for Kingston Council
Digital Garden have worked on a number of content strategy and planning projects including a content audit and information architecture (IA) review for the City of Kingston Council in Victoria.
First up, we completed peer-analysis of other Council websites to establish what content hierarchy and features may be in place. Analysis was completed on 10 sites and presented to the client using Miro (a virtual whiteboard tool) to allow for a collaborative workshop. Our research considered:
- Menu/sitemap structure
- Homepage structure
- Search capabilities
- Ways to complete certain tasks on site e.g. pay rates
This work was combined with a current-state review of the site’s IA. We completed tests of the site by utilising search functions, clicking through menu items, using sidebar navigations and following journeys from all pages to/from one another. We also considered labels and structures of pages and made note of the paths it took to get to them. This work was completed using both the front and backend of the site.
We then identified opportunities for improvement and re-worked the IA structure into two new concepts. These concepts were tested via tree jack testing using Optimal Workshop. We defined a set of questions or tasks for users and set up the tests. Each concept had a different answer to each question and the goal was to see which answer would be found the easiest and/or quickest.
The outcome for this phase of the project was an improved IA delivered to Kingston. The valuable tree testing feedback gained from 200 participants meant that we could put forward a finalised concept for consideration.
Content Review & Audit
Digital Garden also completed a content review and provided a recommended content audit process to Kingston. An audit template was established that required the client to complete a manual review of the site, taking into consideration:
- Navigation information - page name, URL, menu published status
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) information - meta description, meta title
- Page content - page purpose, internal/external links, page files and media
- Content evaluation from a qualitative standpoint
To create this template, we met with various content stakeholders, reviewed existing content workflows and read through writing guides and other corporate collateral to better understand the ways in which content was both viewed and handled.
Digital Garden provided the template alongside a report-style document and template key that detailed how to complete the audit. This document included such items as how to find the required information in a CMS and how to evaluate content.
For content evaluation, we advised Kingston to consider usability, findability, readability, accessibility and relevance. To evaluate content against these criteria, we defined a set of requirements posed as questions.
For example, under ‘Findability’ a question was “Are the information architecture labels easy to understand?”. The process saw Kingston editors ask themselves these questions and score content from 1-3. 1 being “the content does not meet the criteria”, 3 being “the content meets the criteria”. It followed that all content scoring 1 must be updated.
Kingston Council have since completed the full site audit using the template and evaluation guide provided. They have launched a new website with re-written content and a new IA based on Digital Garden’s recommendations.