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Safer Together

A new approach to bushfire risk management in Victoria

Moving fast with Agile

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) required a new website to communicate the approach to bushfire risk management in Victoria.

The Safer Together website had an incredibly tight timeline as it was tied to a promotional campaign. We were able to turn the project around in three weeks from start-to-finish. We adopted an Agile approach to manage the fast feedback and delivery requirements and the project ran as a one-week runway followed by two-week long sprints, including reviews and reprioritisation.

This approach and a modular design, allowed for the content and development phases to begin in parallel, reducing the timeline substantially.

User experience and story mapping

To identify the target audience and initial content elements required, we ran an ideation workshop and story mapping session with DELWP stakeholders. These sessions were a valuable starting point and ensured we a clear understanding of the project goals.

A key component of these workshops was sorting and prioritising content elements, which streamlined the design and development process. Following the first workshop, we drafted an initial story map. This was used as the basis for the second workshop where the team validated the story and priorities. This ensured an agreed upon story map that combined user needs and content. This was later used to inform the content outline and Information Architecture, as well as, the requirements map.

Experience design

From low-fidelity wireframes, we moved onto a higher fidelity approach, which was layout sensitive and helped to establish the modular design language. This was employed across all segments of the site.

For each page we developed a series of content segments with a core set of patterns that would reappear across the pages. Slight variations were refactored to streamline the visual language and development.

Collaboration, validation and revisions

The wireframes were presented and discussed with the full project team after each iteration. This allowed us to identify additional content requirements and provide full visibility of the work in progress.

The visual approach followed the modular wireframe designs and Ladoo ensured that the overall look and feel was consistent with the existing DELWP website.

The design provided a clear focus on content, using a minimal and spacious approach to ensure that long pages were not overwhelming for the user. We used large format visuals along with graphs and videos to create a multi-modal experience that was woven together with text, rather than dominated by it.

Technology and development

When we had defined the initial modules we started the front-end development; creating each content segment as a discrete element so that they were easily to assemble.

We paired back-end development with a structured form approach in Squiz Matrix, which meant that each content module was easy to use in the content management process. This approach also established the design integrity of the various content segments.

All modules were developed with three responsive breakpoints, which meant users could engage with the site across a variety of devices.

Squiz Matrix integration

The microsite was built within the existing website instance using the Squiz Matrix CMS. We ensured that the new mircosite had its own paint layouts in a distinct folder. This allowed the project team to review the site’s progress before it went live.

Prior to launch, the project team were taken through the content management approach so that they were able to make final revisions directly into the pages.

Shortly after the mircosite launched it had over 5,000 page views and we saw a very low bounce rate from the microsite landing page at just 18%. This shows that users who arrived on the site were interested and engaged with the content.