Education Council

Education Council

Website: educationcouncil.org.nz

Size: 800+ PDFs and images sorted and updated for a 3,000+ page website

Government status: Independent statutory body

My professional status: Web consultant with Insight Consultants Ltd

Website client: Education Council

Dates: May-July 2015, November 2015

Categories: Client liaison, IA & UX, Responsive web design/dev, CSS-based layout, Drupal, Government websites, Large sites

Brief: In 2015 the New Zealand Teachers Council was re-structured, re-named and re-branded and became the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand. The organisation - an independent statutory body supported by the Ministry of Education - is the new professional organisation for teachers. They represent all teachers from early childhood education through to primary and secondary schooling in English and Māori medium schools.

The Education Council provides leadership and helps strengthen the regulatory framework and disciplinary regime for teaching. They aim to boost the status of teaching, strengthening accountability and bringing consistently high standards across the education system.

Insight Consultants has been working with the NZ Teachers Council for many years, and designed the new branding and identity for the Education Council. They also provided a new design for the existing website, and were asked to oversee the website re-skinning process that was carried out by another web design/dev company.

I was asked by Chris Payne, Insight's Director, to work alongside his team as their resident web consultant. Initially they asked me to sort through the 800+ PDF and image files on the website, updating some of these with the new logo/branding. I also provided advice on meta-tagging in relation to internal search engine optimisation, reviewed the progress of the web design company that was re-skinning the website, created a master sitemap and advised them on best practice for the FAQs section.

Achievements:

  • Sorted and logged the large number of files in double-quick time, updating a range of elements including PDFs, Word docs and PowerPoint files with the new logo/branding
  • Updated a series of graphics to match the new design and branding, providing these at the correct size and scale for the new website and, where the original "graphics" were in fact HTML, provided the restyling HTML/CSS for the web editor and /or developer to use
  • Acted as a client advocate in relation to the re-skinning job that was being carried out. Initially the website contained a number of bugs and errors, and did not match Insight's design pixel-perfectly. We were able to identify the right tech person to talk to at the web design/dev company, and with the help of Firefox and the Pixel Perfect plugin I was able to show him exactly what I expected in terms of product quality. This meant that the client ended up with a better website, and one that matched Insight's original signed-off design.

My responsibilities included:

  • Cataloguing over 800 Teacher's Council website files and sorting these into various Dropbox folders that I set up according to a master list
  • Updating PDFs, Word docs, and PowerPoint files with a range of text and graphical updates to match the new Education Council short name, logo, branding and full-length English/Māori name
  • Providing best-practice advice relating to search box/dropdown UX design
  • Providing best-practice advice relating to meta tags and how these might be used to improve the   website's internal search engine search results
  • Reviewing Drupal meta tag documentation so that I could be sure that Drupal could handle and benefit from meta tagging - and providing this information to the web development team
  • Locating, updating, and resizing a range of website graphics that were now out of date, and providing copies of these together with instructions for the web dev team
  • As some of the "graphics" to be updated were actually HTML/CSS, I identified these and provided the HTML/CSS updating code for the dev team
  • Acted as a client advocate in relation to the re-skinning job that was being carried out by the dev team, including meeting with one of their devs so that I could show him how we were testing the build using Pixel Perfect (and the level of pixel-perfection that we expected them to achieve)
  • Testing the website re-skin and writing bug-tracking lists for our client
  • Providing design solutions for the header and main nav area, when a new navigation tab needed to be added in a space where there wasn't room for it
  • Investigating the range of free online sitemap creation software, and using a couple of them to build sitemaps of the entire website for the client (the site has over 3,000 pages and didn't have a compete sitemap at the time, which was making it difficult for us to test and check the whole site)
  • Researching Vimeo video styling to see how much of the Education Council branding could be applied to their embedded videos
  • Providing best-practice design solutions for the FAQs page, including building an example page and reviewing both where it should live on the site, and how it could best be styled.

I love working with Insight. Chris has been working with many different Wellington organisations, NGOs and government departments for many years and has built up great relationships with them. The Education Council team are lovely people and I enjoyed being able to help them along with their new re-skinned website.