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Social Research Centre and the Department of Education

Accessible Commonwealth Government Website With a lot of hard work and positive team spirit, the AEDC launched on time with a significantly enhanced brand, information architecture and user experience.

Situation

The Australian Early Development Census (formerly, the Australian Early Development Index) operates on a three year cycle. Every three years, a national census of six year olds occurs, gathering information from 15,000 teachers regarding around 300,000 children. The AEDC identifies communities in which children are on track, and those communities in which children are more likely to be developmentally vulnerable.

In the previous cycle, Websilk had participated in the project through provision of a custom data gathering platform. In this cycle, Websilk was commissioned to re-imagine and build out the entire web presence, integrating what had been five separate sites into one coherent presentation.

Solution

Websilk’s information architects mapped out the large and diverse set of informational resources it had inherited, and mapped the information into a coherent information architecture targeted on discrete audience roles.

Websilk’s usability experts focused on the hierarchical presentation of census data, seeking to re-imagine how audiences could best engage with the data in order for it to meaningfully communicate. Formerly, the data was presented as a series of static tables, and the website visitor was invited to manually compare the data in order to interpret meaning. Websilk reworked this concept, providing website visitors with tangible means of contextually comparing local data with national, state and community data points, and with changes over time.

Instead of asking a human to do a comparison manually, the Websilk’s redesign built comparisons into the controls and the presentation of the data.

Working under tight deadlines, Websilk, the Social Research Centre, the Commonwealth Department of Education, and the Department of Education’s project partners seamlessly collaborated in order to overcome hurdles and achieve the aggressive deadline necessary for the successful launch of the project.

Thorough consideration to all aspects of accessibility was pursued throughout the design and development of the project, as accessibility is mandatory for all Commonwealth Government websites.

Outcomes

With a lot of hard work and positive team spirit, the AEDC launched on time with a significantly enhanced brand, information architecture and user experience. The AEDC website now provides the anchor-point for the AEDC to communicate with all stakeholders during the third AEDC cycle. The project is now free to iteratively improve the core website while the data collection and data management aspects of the project kick into high gear.

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