For a recent government digital project that Kindleman was proposing, I went back to have a look at the criteria for government digital projects - because I hadn't read through it for a while. I was surprised (read: ecstatic) to see that it had been updated to an entirely readable and openly thought-out guideline.
No more rabbit-holes of linked pages telling us exactly how to behave. There's worm-holes of course (WCAG 2.0 accessibility guideline is a whole different subject and a big read) but overarching is a Tao-like beauty that is more of an agile philosophy on how to create a successful digital product.
Being a small team gives us a distinct advantage in some government projects. We're more free to offer what's right for the project over what's our own company policy. We've made a point of making our core tool set very usable for government and more complex projects - including our chosen frameworks, methodologies and processes - and it was very comforting to see how closely we've hit the mark when I read through this guideline.
So I thought I'd share how Kindleman responded in short to these guidelines at a proposal-level - showing how we approach many of the government projects that we've worked on in the past and present. Of course - specifics of a project determine specifically how we'd respond within the guidelines - AND... the guidelines understands that!! Aahhhh, so refreshing!!!
- - - Here it is - - -
For delivery of government websites and digital services we adhere to criteria outlined by the Australian Government's Digital Service Standard, understanding that we can be assessed against this standard.
In response to the AuGov-DSS criteria based here:
Understand user needs
We conduct research to develop a deep knowledge of users and their context for the using the service.
Have a multidisciplinary team
We have a team in place that comprises multiple contributing skills, including those skills used for
- understanding and research,
- project management, planning and acceptance,
- architecture, creative and design,
- front-end and back-end development across a range of well known and supported open-source and proprietary frameworks and systems.
- browser and user testing
- security measure and processes
- service, add-on and connectable technology specialists
- search engine optimisation and paid marketing
- social media
- hosting and server requirements
- ongoing services and support
Agile and user-centred process
We encourage a delivery process based on discovery, iteration and product delivery through an agile methodology - that allows for changes to scope, ideas and legislation/policy.
Understanding of tools and systems
Understand the tools and systems required to build, host, operate and measure the service and how to adopt, adapt or procure them.
We actively seek out secure systems that ensure high levels of security for website-based data - particularly in relation to user data, eCommerce, online service delivery and service take-over. We offer independent security analysis and reporting (penetration testing / other) where we feel its is required.
Consistent and responsive design
We encourage a consistent approach to design patterns and styling, aimed at achieving highest levels of user-experience through responsive design and front-end development.
Use open standards and common platforms
Our technology solutions use open and accepted standards that avoid being locked into one vendor (us). Technology can be portable and picked up by other teams where required. Where possible, we'll attempt to use other platforms your agency may already use, be familiar with or find preferable for future directions.
Make source code open
We are active members of the open source development community. We both contribute to the community and use contributions from others to enhance projects. Our GitHub account hosts a selection of code that is forked by others for a wide variety of uses. We don't release code to the community without prior consent from our customers.
We have a set checklist of criteria that contribute to the inclusiveness of our web projects - inclusive of physical and mental disability, users in remote areas, device dependence, cultural differences, and those who require a range of different service-types. We use WCAG 2.0 AA for user-accessibility guidelines.
We thoroughly test at a browser and user level for any iteration of any project. Furthermore we encourage automated testing within our projects - using both existing testing services (such as uptime testing) and customised service testing methodology (to ensure important functions of the service are working as planned.)
We use stats and reporting packages to measure performance against pre-set project KPIs. We encourage specific measurement of functional criteria to enhance insights and responding iterative improvement.
Any project we undertake needs to have a non-digital aspect, including contact options, registration or product purchase options, and any aspects related to effective delivery of the service we're providing.
Encourage people to use the digital service
We encourage you to understand effective marketing channels for delivering information and clicks for the service to be successful. For websites, this is a marketing aspect included as an option on any digital delivery project. Partnerships and integrations can be key to user acceptance and steady sustainable growth of the user-base.
The Australian Government's Digital Service Standard is a basis on which we deliver our own best-practice digital services. While it is a best-practice guide, it is somewhat open for interpretation and can be cherry-picked depending on the size and type of project being developed.
If you require any specific detail in relation to the standard or your project requirements, please contact us and we'll have an expert address it.