Last year I worked full time for the Queensland Government, as part of the Smart Service Queensland team, where I was contracted to redevelop the main Queensland Government website qld.gov.au. Initially contracted for a short three month stint, this quickly blew out to a six month, then a nine month contract, as the site was a mess.

The website is managed using Teamsite, which regular readers of my personal blog already know, is an outdated and overhyped file versioning system.

The site had been redesigned a few years before I came on board, but there were some glaringly obvious problems with the current design, and many more issues became apparent once I began to scratch the surface.

qld.gov.au screenshot one

Luckily, because it was a Government client, I was afforded time and resources to conduct extensive usability analysis of the existing design, and then also the new designs that I came up with. This was a very interesting process, and most importantly, having quantitative data when arguing for a particular change in design is invaluable. Managers love to be able to tell their bosses that X change will result in Y% more usability.

My new design put the primary navigation on the front page, where it had been missing for years, completely breaking user expectation. There is also a smattering of javascript to make the page more 'dynamic'. It also makes use of some more sophisticated CSS techniques, and has reduced the overall file size considerably. There are some chunks of my code that were not implemented, but apprently that is a failing of the 'CMS' more than anything else. There are also big changes that I made that have been left out of this relaunching, but I think that they may be left for a future unveiling.

New category layoutSearch field

Pretty cool though, no?