For the very first time, our fortnightly staff pick features our brand new Whitehaven template! Naturally we love the fresh new look, but that's not the only reason we picked this fantastic Education State consultation as our first springtime staff pick.
Site: Education State (Vic Department of Education)
Project: Let's Talk About Early Childhood
Publish Date: 27 August 2015
Tools: Forum, Surveys & Forms
Widgets: Sign up Banner, FAQ, Document Library, Key Dates, Twitter (Custom), Life Cycle
What we like:
- Layout: This project uses our newest "Whitehaven" template. Whitehaven showcases an image-based homepage and removes the banner from all project pages, thus moving the engagement tools into the centre of the page. It also has a very clear and contemporary look throughout the site.
- Calls-to-action: We see this implemented as best practice across our sites more regularly these days. Calls-to-action are peppered through the project description, in the tool tabs and, of course, in the project title itself.
- RSVP form: The 'Register for an event' form is a great use of EHQ's Surveys & Forms tool. We are often asked how Eventbrite or similar 3rd party functions can be embedded into EHQ sites. However, often this is unnecessary. If you use the Surveys & Forms tool as the team has done here, you might not need to use a 3rd party app and all participant data is collected in your project analytics.
- Life Cycle: Using the Life Cycle widget is very important in Whitehaven as it feeds into the progress bar on the homepage. If you are already using Whitehaven, consider implementing this function. If not, ask us how to migrate your site to the new template.
- Completeness: The project feels complete and well-produced. The widgets contain all key information, the project description is not too long and clearly sets out the context, and all available tools are enabled and published. Though this seems like a no-brainer, we regularly find good projects missing key elements that would turn them into very good projects... and contenders for the staff pick.
For further consideration:
Shorten widgets: This project has a multitude of tools enabled, which are all important. However, due to the high number of widgets, the right-hand column is too long in comparison to the left. The solution is to display less content, which means fewer FAQs, fewer documents, etc. All content would still be available; just hidden behind it the 'more...' link.
- Use Brainstormer: One of the discussion topics asks for participants to share ideas about the consultation. Though the Forum tool can be used to gather ideas, the team could instead use our brand new Brainstormer tool, created just for this purpose.
OVERALL: This is not the first EHQ project by the VIC Department of Education, whose prior projects have also been excellent. This project is no exception. We love how visually engaging this Whitehaven site looks and are proud to feature this project as our fortnightly staff pick.
NOTE: The above is based on a visit to the site on 04 September 2015. Changes made to the project after that date may have altered the appearance of the project.