Introducing Digital.govt.nz

What we’re doing

The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) has been talking about all-of-government thinking and practices in the digital space for a while. Now we want to consolidate a lot of what’s out there so there is one single source of truth. So we’re starting work on an all-of-government, online source of information, tools and services to support digital transformation in the public sector: Digital.govt.nz.

Digital.govt.nz aims to fill in information gaps, by integrating content from ICT.govt.nz and the New Zealand WebToolkit.govt.nz, and exploring how to integrate new features such as automated quality assurance for content, and building in API capability. Once all the content has been migrated, we’ll retire those websites.

The project team is working with content owners and stakeholders mapping out the information architecture, ensuring content meets meet NZ Web Standards and is managed effectively going forward. To start, the team includes people from DIA’s Government Information Services (GIS), the Relationship Management team, the product owner for the Common Web Platform (CWP), Communications, the Service and System Transformation group, and the Service Delivery and Operations group.

We’ve got a rough information architecture (IA) and some ideas about how to build an online service to meet the digital needs of the public sector based on previous research done by different parts of DIA. The next step is to talk to stakeholders to see if we’ve got the IA right, get ideas about needs and functionality, and test out labelling — should we call it “Guidance” or “Advice”? — to make sure that you can find what you need easily.

What we’ve got so far

Some basics about Digital.govt.nz:

  • it’s being built on CWP, which is a platform-as-a-service offering for the creation and hosting of government websites
  • the minimal viable product (MVP) will go-live this December
  • reviewing, re-writing and migrating content is expected to be ongoing through 2018
  • it’ll meet NZ Web Standards for Accessibility and Usability
  • we want to have regular interactions and consultations across the public sector
  • everything is iterative
  • we’re aiming to build a flexible IA so that it stays fit-for-purpose.

And there are some ideas that we’re exploring such as:

  • Distributed authorship How can we build a system that makes it easy for content owners to add and update content but still work within a sensible, manageable IA?
  • Collaboration space Feedback from an initial discovery phase identified a need for an open, transparent collaboration space.
  • Automation During the MVP phase the team will evaluate services which can be integrated into publishing processes to automate aspects of quality control for content development.
  • Content API Also during the MVP phase, the team will investigate the built-in API capability of CWP to assess the feasibility of making elements of content available for re-use on other sites such as the Public Sector Intranet or agency intranets.

Have some ideas?

Later this week, we’ll post some information about how you can get involved with user testing. There will be on- and offline options so you can get involved however much or little as you want.

In particular, we’ll be seeking expressions of interest from people representing our key user groups for the December MVP (practitioners are also a key user group and we'll be focused on them after the Christmas holidays):

  • digital practitioners
  • line managers responsible for digital projects
  • CXOs, which includes Chief Operating Officers, Chief Information Officers, Chief Technology Officers, Chief Digital Officers and similar roles that support the public sector’s adoption of digital services.

The project team is working on tight timeframes, with the high-level content planned to go live in December 2017 to complement existing specialist content from source websites, all accessed through a single starting point.

If this sounds like something you'd like to be involved in, add a comment or get in touch.

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