This year we shared 20 of our best client sites that either excelled with great design, user functionality or excellent online engagement strategy. With 50-60 projects released each week, finding our favourites was no easy feat!
With 2015 drawing to a close, we take a look back at some of these projects and look forward to sharing staff picks from our clients in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK and the USA in the new year!
Spoiler alert: We were pleased to see most of our site pick sites were archived by our clients but still left accessible to the pubic and kept up-to-date, which ensures the community stays informed about consultation outcomes. Keeping the community in the loop is fantastic best practice and further evidence these organisations deserve our praise.
Wingecarribee Shire Council
Wingecarribee Shire Council in NSW, Australia, was our first ever local government staff pick that stood out for a consultation on animal welfare services. The council received 1944 public responses, both online and offline by post. This community-consulted feedback resulted in the council deciding to keep the related animal shelter under its own management.
Wingecarribee has continued to communicate with the public on this issue. See their archived project here.
Randwick City Council
Randwick City Council in NSW, Australia created another great site with a consultation on local urban design awards. Community voting on entries and the people's choice award were all managed and facilitated via Randwick's Your Say Randwick site. The winners were also announced online, which showcased how to close the loop of a consultation effectively.
See the archived project here.
City of South Perth
When the City of South Perth in Western Australia launched a trial consultation on parking issues earlier this year, they wanted to gauge community interest on the subject. Turns out a lot of people care about parking and want to have their say! The project page was well-designed and the mapping tool proved an integral part of the consultation.
See the archived project here.
Public Transport Victoria
One of this year's most active consultations was by Pubic Transport Victoria (PTV) over the future of the public transport network in regional Victoria, Australia. The community posted more than 650 comments on PTV's discussion forums about the subject, which complemented a range of in-person public workshops held by PTV throughout the consultation period.
PTV also did a great job of keeping the community informed about the project outcomes. Check out the 'Conversation Summaries' page here, which is a great way to feed information back to the community!
Bayside City Council
In Victoria, Australia, Bayside City Council's Elsternwick Masterplan remains one of the best looking and best-managed projects of the year! With a great looking site about a park re-design and relevant information provided in a simple and easy-to-understand format. Take a look at the forum discussion for a great example of a clear and simple description. The consultation received a lot of community feedback, the results of which will soon be considered by council.
See the project here.
What have we noticed this year?
Going over this year's staff picks we noticed a few key elements for success:
The sites all look visually attractive and follow good design principles
Site copy is simple and easy-to-understand
All relevant information is available and readily accessible on the site
Engagement tools are used well. The best projects engage the community via a suite of exciting tools and do not wholly rely on the survey feature (though the City of Port Phillip executed a survey in the best way possible!).
We look forward to sharing many great new sites with you from around the world in the new year. Bring on 2016!