Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
A vast, elegantly designed, highly-structured critical business resource for the building sector.
The Building Performance website was delivered by Chrometoaster under the Common Web Services Panel.
Despite the building sector being the third largest industry in our economy by business-count, homeowners and builders were unable to readily access information necessary to understand their role and obligations under the Building Code — a potential risk in a heated construction market.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s visitors were forced to wade through complex information throughout a site which wasn’t geared toward any particular user, or mental model.
With our help, the Building Performance website has been reimagined — facilitating access to complex building-related information for an array of users with hugely varying requirements of the content. The strategy was to enable easy access, regardless of the user’s context, device and/or the complexity of information they may be after.
Though conceptually ‘structured’, much of the information within the site had existed in unstructured Word and PDF files — the website redesign brought this to a head. The site structure now houses around 2,700 pages (down from 16,000), underpinned by a comprehensive information architecture and content model, allowing authors to reduce the complexity of information and create more consumable, audience focused ‘chunks’.
Due to the complexity of the legislation and supporting information being presented, multiple taxonomies, synonyms and other supporting metadata were developed to manage the content — so that it remains accessible without being dependent on a high degree of subject matter familiarity — a significant shift forward.
Given the volume of information, effective search design was critical. We worked extensively to refine the search — to enable general, and register-based searches, to be refined by Building Code, content type, and keyword — including industry-based synonyms.
Deeper sections of the site are intentionally designed for council-based building inspectors, designers and builders on-site – something previously only supported by downloaded print material. These users were at the forefront of design and testing to ensure specific features were accurately adapted for mobile use. Particular attention was given to displaying information in complex tables so these are flawless on handheld devices.
Feedback continues to be tremendous. We believe solid content design, coupled with elegant, pragmatic interface design has delivered a real workhorse for the public sector.
Built on the NZ Government's Common Web Platform (SilverStripe CMS)