www.govt.nz great example of user-friendly and innovative site

25 November 2015

I am writing this blog post to share a great story of a website that is proving successful and exceeding expectations – www.govt.nz. In August, this website took out the top prize in the 'information category' of the Australia and New Zealand Internet Awards – ANZIAs for short.

Govt.nz provides all-of-government information to the public to make it easier for users to find and use New Zealand government information – anywhere, anytime. They have put a lot of effort in to user satisfaction and all information is written and presented based on evidence from users. They use plain English and a simple design to make it easy to understand and continue to change and evolve the site based on ongoing user testing, feedback and research.

I interviewed Victoria Wray who is the Senior Product Manager at the Department of Internal Affairs – the organisation responsible for this website. I asked Victoria what it meant to be named a winner at the ANZIA awards and she said it was so great to see the work they’ve been doing receive this kind of recognition, especially among peers doing similarly great things. They were overawed by the calibre of contenders they were up against and have been honoured by the kudos they have received, given the amount of work that has gone into getting Govt.nz to where it is today.

Victoria says that the ANZIAs are a great opportunity to showcase your work against a broad range of other website providers and technologies. The application wasn’t massively long or arduous but concise and to the point – letting the good stuff get a chance to shine.

The DIA is now working with a number of government agencies to provide deeper information for people – shifting Govt.nz from being a directory, to a place to go for answers. They’re looking at using other mediums like infographics and video to help explain government to low literacy users.

It’s nice to see that they are continuing to focus on making Govt.nz accessible to everyone. They are putting special focus on removing barriers for people with physical or cognitive disabilities, low literacy or English as a second language. They are also continuing work to make sure the site remains mobile friendly.

We would like to congratulate the DIA once again for building such a successful website and being deserving winners of the ANZIA award. It is great to see them using the win to contribute to building their reputation with the public and promoting the importance of making government services easy to understand and use. The 2016 ANZIA will be launched, with some changes, early next year. Keep an eye on the website for the latest news.