Strathcona Regional District

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Business Goals

The goal of the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) website was to make information more readily available to target audience groups, including specific regional users, with up-to-date, searchable content that is easy to find, digest and read. The measure of success for a local government site is how quickly users can find the information they are looking for within a huge range of documents and pages. 

The Situation

After working with the Strathcona Recreation Complex and Connected Coast, the SRD came to us asking for support in overhauling their regional district website. The existing site was slow, and difficult to search for content, forms agendas and minutes and other public-facing information and documents.  The look of the site was dated and inconsistent with their new branding.

What We Did

We developed a comprehensive site design that anticipated the most common information needs and structured the home page and subsequent sections in a way to allow most users to find things instantly. Arriving at the home page, users would scroll through:
  • Optional alert bar – We know users are here for something else, but we have to tell them this first
  • Quick links menu – 75% of users are there for just four or five things that live on this menu
  • Department menu – with dropdown ‘mega-menu’ structure to highlight the most common needs from each department
  • Search – If users still haven’t found what they need, or are looking for a specific document, the search will get them there
  • Subsequent page blocks for frequently viewed sections, for users who prefer to scroll and use images or visual cues to recognize relevant information
The site provided backend functionality to manage site-wide alerts, electoral area notices, and news and events that could be fed into the individual electoral area pages. The site was deliberately designed to use few photographs and rely on colour and texture for visual signposting. This reduced the need for staff to spend time sourcing appropriate photographs for new content. We implemented an advanced search system that also gave feedback on what users were searching for and, importantly, what they were asking for but not finding. This, together with regular site analytics, allows the SRD to identify what new content is needed or how menu items might be changed to reflect user needs.   

Tools & Techniques

  • Custom post types for inputting and sharing PDFs, agendas, minutes, files and links
  • Custom notifications and alerts to feature on certain areas of the website
  • News and Events blog-style functionality with categories to disseminate to their appropriate electoral areas
  • Site-wide search functionality
We continue to work with SRD to adapt and improve the website, respond to user feedback and expand the sections for important functions within the Regional District.  Visit the Strathcona Regional District Website