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In late September, the project team at the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) had the first user testing workshop for the new service. A big thank-you to all of the people who attended from across Government: your insights and suggestions will be invaluable as we build the site’s functionality.

Out of the session we had more than 50 suggestions on how we can meet your needs. What was great was that many of the suggestions were already in our backlog. However, there were a few that we missed. And there were some really elegant suggestions, which I wish we had come up with. Here's what we learned from the workshop.

Site Perception

One of the big areas was around how the site needs to be perceived by the users and what we can be doing to positively drive that perception. Here are a few key points:

  • Content must be kept up to date (eg "Last Updated: 1st April 2001" is not good)
  • Archive old material; it may be of use in the future
  • Content must reflect current thinking
  • Content must be in plain English with no spelling mistakes
  • The site must look professional and authoritative
  • The site must be relevant and not a marketing tool
  • Has to be fast especially when using mobile devices (don’t make me use all my mobile data).

Finding Stuff

Being able to find that nugget of information in a mountain of information on the site is a big must. Some ideas were:

  • Bread crumbs to find your way back to something you have previously found
  • Flowcharts or decision trees to guide you to the page that will help you
  • If you have a online presence, the site should be able to present information based on your history
  • And my favourite, “people who visited this page also found this useful …”
  • The home page needs to show links to new and updated content.

And finally...

Along with plain English, clean clear content was important. Basically, remove the clutter. Although PDFs were useful everyone agreed that content was better on the page so that it could be searched, copied and made accessible to everyone.

If you have any questions about, please contact us by email or by commenting on this blog post. aims to be an all-of-government, online source of information, tools and services to support digital transformation in the public sector.

For some background on what we’re doing and why, read recent blog posts on

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