Deeply understanding the users
A key challenge for the project was to make sure we understood the diverse needs and goals of people using the website. Through workshops with the Commission, we came to learn that each user group has a different reason to interact with the Commission. We also ran a small amount of interviews with external stakeholders to gain firsthand knowledge.
Some of the insights from our research included:
- Users may or may not have a formal relationship with the Commission and therefore need tailored and appropriate entry points
- Some users accessing the plans still download the PDF as it’s seen as a source of truth
- The representation of the roles and structure of people in the Commission could be improved
- Maps are a vital way to represent spatial data and can be more engaging and interactive.
- The value of Thought Leadership should continue to be promoted and better explained
Using existing research and our own first hand insights, we developed a set of personas. As an example, one persona is a theoreticalfor Syed Barker, a Manager of Strategic Planning at North Sydney Council. His goals, frustrations, and website needs represent the larger local government council user group. These personas were continually referenced throughout the rest of the project.