It really only was a matter of time until VicRoads would appear as one of our staff picks. Their consultations are usually impeccably managed, looking professional and, most importantly, receive lots and lots of input from the community. This particular project is about speed trials on the notoriously busy Monash Freeway and it is another example proving that VicRoads know what they are doing.
Project: Monash Freeway Speed Trials
Publish Date: 11 November 2016
Topic: VicRoads are asking the community to share their experiences travelling in the trial area on the Monash Freeway. Part of this trial is to reduce speed limits for trucks over 4.5 tonnes to 90km/h. The aim of this consultation is to evaluate new safety approaches.
Tools: News Feed, Forum, Survey
Widgets: Photo Gallery, Lifecycle, FAQ, Related Projects,
Quality of project page: The overall quality of the project page is second to none. The images are of high quality, but low in file size. The project description provides just enough context (see below), without being light on detail. The widgets on the right have plenty of information and it is all kept in plain language and easy to understand, even for first time visitors.
Use of News Feed: The News Feed is used in an unique way on this page. It provides a space for more information and going forward surely project updates, but it also links to the two engagement tools on this page, the Forum and the Survey.
Project description: As hinted at above, the description is short enough and it provides information on how people can participate and what the next steps are in this project. It really is a summary of everything that participants need to see and read before they can participate. The only part we are missing here are links to the tools as well as the FAQs.
Focus of Forum: Interesting approach to the Forum tool by VicRoads. The description outlines "Some topics you may wish to discuss". Instead of using a variety of topics for all these question, VicRoads opted to keep the discussion focused in one space alone. With 243 comments and counting, this decision is seemingly paying off.
Overall look and feel of EHQ: Looking at the homepage and other project pages, you can see the high quality is maintained throughout the site. The team often uses custom widgets to bring in elements that are beyond the default EHQ offering.
If you do have the necessary skills in-house, we encourage you to explore what else can be done. That could reach from formatting the custom widgets like VicRoads have done on the homepage, to embedding all types of content on project pages.
For further consideration:
Survey Pinning: The survey contains just one question and could have been pinned to the page, therefore eliminating one extra click. Since it is only that one question a Quick Poll could have worked too, although looking at the long introduction to the survey, the team most likley opted for the survey to provide more detail in the introduction.
Links in description: As mentioned above, a few more links in the project description to the tools as well as the FAQs would have been a nice addition.
OVERALL: Just the type of project we have come to expect from VicRoads. The page is looking professional, plenty of background information and context is available for the visitor to make sense of it all, without overloading the page with text either. This project will continue throughout 2017 and is worthwhile bookmarking to follow its development.
NOTE: The article above is based on a visit to the site on 05 December 2016. Changes made to the project after that date may have altered the appearance of the project.