The Georges Riverkeeper is the business name of the not-for-profit Georges River Combined Council's Committee Incorporated (GRCCC). It was formed in 1979 initially by a group of concerned residents, but has now progressed to eight member Councils, collectively responsible for the health of the Georges River, in southern Sydney.
The Georges River catchment is the second most populated catchment in NSW; home to almost 1.4 million people, 454 species of fauna, 30 riparian or riverside vegetation communities and 29 Endangered Ecological Communities.
The Georges Riverkeeper’s aspirational goal is ‘best practice environmental management for a liveable urban river’. Its mission is to advocate for the protection, conservation and enhancement of the health of the Georges River on behalf of its member Councils. Georges Riverkeeper focuses on water quality monitoring and research, rubbish collection and bush regeneration, stormwater advocacy and community education programs.
Having rebranded in 2018, the organisation needed a modern website to continue its vital work.
The website visitors include people who want to enjoy the river and the catchment's numerous recreational spots, students, environmentally aware citizens, and Member Council staff and Councillors and other collaborators. So the website needed to be easy for the visitor to find information and for the busy staff to publish.
Starting with a discovery process, Art of Multimedia designed the User Experience followed by creating a clean design, wireframes and interactive prototype, to ensure the functional and technical specifications meet the needs of its varying audiences and stakeholders.
Georges Riverkeeper staff in partnership with stakeholders do great work, which is regularly shared and acknowledged on an active Facebook page and now, on the fresh new website, with images and videos for effective storytelling. A resource library contains the myriad publications, presented in an easy to browse visual layout and searchable through filtered search.
An online map helps visitors find their special spot, whether that is on, or near the river. There is information for those interested in walking and cycling, swimming, fishing, boating and watercraft, organised with relevant tips and warnings, as well as related information from the resource library.
The organisation's meeting papers are also accessible via the website for authorised users. The website is built with mobile first, responsive UI and Drupal 8 Content Management System (CMS) and integrates Intramaps.
At AOM we love working with not-for-profit organisations, so are delighted to have designed and developed and now host and maintain this vital communication tool for Georges Riverkeeper. Like many not-for-profit organisations, Georges Riverkeeper staff have modest resources and developing a new website was additional work for the already busy team. Beth Salt, Program Manager of Georges Riverkeeper summed up her experience by saying
“The process was well structured and effective. AOM were very good at explaining what was the brief and what would be considered scope creep outside of the brief. This was helpful when a new staff member at Georges Riverkeeper took over managing the website project.
The site has been developed as a secure site, and this did not initially align well with housing the interactive maps on the new website. The maps are a vital part of the site and are run on a third party platform. It was essential that the user not have to navigate away from the Georges Riverkeeper site to fully utilize the maps. However, the platform the maps is provided on was incompatible with our secure site. AOM were able to help identify the problem and then mediate between Georges Riverkeeper non-technical staff and the technical staff responsible for the map platform.
The clean design of the website has been praised by stakeholders. Council staff find it easy to navigate for their needs.
We are grateful that AOM took a supportive and collaborative approach in developing the new website. They were happy to talk through challenges and solutions to find the best way forward. AOM were reliable, delivering what they said they’d deliver, in timely way. They continue to be very responsive to our needs. We look forward to continuing to develop the website so that it reflects our commitment to best-practices."