The development of www.royalcommission.vic.gov.au happened quickly, in fact, within a couple of weeks. The main function of the website is to provide access to the interim report.
The reason for the site developing so quickly was that the final draft of the report was only released in that final fortnight prior to the interim report being tabled in Parliament. The features of the website include general info about the VBRC as well as the process to which members of the community could provide submissions or other information, be present or called to a hearing to account for their recollection of what happened and the majority of the website content are those submissions, accounts and exhibits.
The key features include full content management in Kentico, a service functionality of over 5000 submissions which were received by the commission up until the end of 2009 and the linking between documents within the website. Users can search through the submissions based on the authors of those submissions. There is a full index and archive of the exhibits and documents tabled and these too can be searched by the user.
The real work behind this website wasn’t simply uploading of thousands of pages of the reports, documents and exhibits; it was the ability to reference between other documents. Much time was spent rendering HTML and linking the documents, providing a sound architectural structure which ensured the user had a good experience and could easily navigate the site.
The design was originally designed by an external agency and we then converted this design. The main different feature of this, is being a Government website, there were particular guidelines that we needed to adhere to in order to meet their standards. The key was the design and the way that the menu worked differed from most websites. The report was split into volumes 1 – 4 and the user selects the volume then chapter they are interested in. The approach to navigation was that it was more of book like index.
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