Greater Sydney Commission is leading metropolitan planning with a bold vision to reshape Greater Sydney as a metropolis of three cities. Following extensive community engagement, the Commission recently launched final strategic plans for the region and its districts.
The current digital climate of strategic planning in NSW is dense and confusing. The mission was to create a digital web tool, My Greater Sydney, to play a pivotal role in communicating how the plans will improve the productivity, sustainability and liveability of the city.
User interviews revealed that search and filter functionality was crucial to meeting the needs of the online audience. My Greater Sydney is the first strategic city plan in Australia to be launched digitally, that allows users to interact, search, download and filter the content.
Project Goal / Objective
We were given a brief to publish A Metropolis of Three Cities - the Greater Sydney Region Plan, and its district plans. Greater Sydney Commission wanted more than simply a series of PDFs. In addition to a bright, modern design, they wanted to put Sydneysiders’ needs front and centre.
The goal was set to produce a digital tool to help stakeholders and the community explore region and district planning across Greater Sydney. The project needed to deliver a user-friendly experience and an immersive, customer-centric interface. All design elements increase interactivity and encourage exploration of Greater Sydney’s visionary strategic planning.
How did we meet the project goal / Solution provided + Remarkable website functionalities
Greater Sydney is Australia’s economic powerhouse, and it’s growing fast. Communicating the Commission’s vision for A Metropolis of Three Cities is integral to helping manage the city’s growth and enhancing its status as one of the most liveable global cities.
When the Greater Sydney Commission released its six draft plans for exhibition, published as PDF downloads and accompanying website landing pages, the website content gained 73% more engagement than the PDF versions. This encouraged the Commission to digitally enhance the content, and publish the final plans as fully interactive HTML webpages.
The project commenced with a series of internal workshops and interviews with key stakeholders and website users to develop a suite of comprehensive audience personas. An extensive user experience review and a series of moderated in-person user tests helped to better understand the existing website landscape. Having gained a deep understanding of the various users’ needs, they set to work enhancing the interactivity of the wealth of information contained in the six plans.
The design had to sympathetically bring together elements of the existing website, the PDF versions of the plans and the newly updated GSC style guide, while also establishing its own brand identity. As well as being beautiful, My Greater Sydney had to be functional. The centrepiece of My Greater Sydney’s design is the revolutionary ‘explore panel’. Available on every page of the tool, the explore panel quickly allows users to navigate to any topic within any region or district. Navigation dynamite! The design includes multiple touch points that allows users to reach the same information in different ways.
The tool placed a high priority on being completely responsive to mobile devices, and compliant to WCAG AA 2.0 standards.
My Greater Sydney, launched in May 2018 and was heavily promoted across all the Commission’s digital communication channels. The tool featured on the website’s home page, and the community newsletter.