Our story so far

Discover the history of Single Digital Presence and what we've delivered so far.

Every Victorian interacts with Victorian Government information and services. This means that our web users come in all shapes and sizes and interact with us in many different ways.

Back in 2015, the Department of Premier and Cabinet used more than 30 inconsistently branded and designed websites to deliver information. This created issues for us and our users:

  • audience fragmentation across sites
  • disjointed journeys
  • inconsistent user experiences

Websites were also spread across a disparate range of platforms, content management systems and hosting arrangements. So it was hard for people to find the information they needed and complicated for us to manage.

When we looked across government, we saw similar issues on hundreds of websites.   

Research, approach and results

  • Before Single Digital Presence even had a name, user research with citizens and the VPS helped us to understand the implications of operating this way.

    1. Victorians were increasingly choosing online as their primary source for finding information and completing tasks.
    2. We weren’t able to be as user-centric and innovative as we wanted to be because we kept spending our money on basic web builds or single-use features.
    3. Government content authors needed a tool that was easy to use, with a consistent experience across portfolios.

    The research also told us that while users are diverse, their journey and needs are similar.

    The big question then became: how might we redesign online government information and services to better meet user needs?

  • As an action of the Victorian Government Information Technology Strategy 2016–2020, the Single Digital Presence (SDP) project was stood up and tasked with providing an answer to this question.

    Our goal was to make it easier for Victorians to find, access and understand government information.

    By redesigning and consolidating Department of Premier and Cabinet websites, including, onto a common platform, SDP was intended as a test case for whole of government implementation.

    We also had to prove reductions in the cost, time and risk associated with digital delivery for government.

  • To deliver on the vision, we established a number of guiding principles:

    • user-first, designed with and for citizens
    • build once, use often
    • make it flexible - design and components built to balance customisation and consistency
    • responsive design
    • API-driven
    • continuous improvement: ongoing data insights, business requirements and user research guide further development
    • open source: code is released back to the community free of charge
  • In 2.5 years, with a lean, in-house team, SDP delivered:

    • an open source, full-stack technical platform built for government requirements
    • the first Victorian agency to make all code available under an open source license, enabling flexible public re-use
    • Ripple, a complete design system that government agencies can use to help reduce the resources needed for design and development
    • 57 sites in total
    • 34 DPC sites consolidated onto
    • An additional 23 sites across government consolidated onto SDP
    • a training model, including a community of practice, to support 300+ content editors to meet digital standards
    • a cross-functional in-house team: development, product, content, design, user experience, communications and analytics

Read blog posts from our journey

Reviewed 30 March 2021

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