Premier’s Reading Challenge

An engaging and interactive website customised to support young readers, their teachers and parents and provide them the best possible user experience.

project-goals-mobile

Engaging and interactive web content designed to help students develop a love of reading

The Premier’s Reading Challenge is a literacy engagement program run in South Australia to encourage students to read more books, enjoy reading, and improve literacy levels.

To support this long-running program the Premier’s Reading Challenge website needed a total redevelopment including a review of the design, improvement of interactive components of the website plus a simplified back-end to facilitate easier management of the website content.

Additionally, the new design had to be delivered with multiple distinct audiences in mind. From teachers and parents looking for information on the program and how to run it in their school or home to students looking to browse the available book lists. This required extensive user journey mapping and the careful development of website structures and content.

Project Goals

The Premier’s Reading Challenge team wanted to completely transform the user’s digital experience, using the website to support and enhance the journey of students, parents and teachers.

An extensive list of business requirements for the redeveloped and contemporary website solution included:

  • New key content areas and architecture,
  • Contemporary look, feel and usability
  • Compliance with WCAG 2.0 AA accessibility
  • Dynamically scalable
  • High level of data security and reliability
  • Seamless and intuitive CMS capabilities for ongoing content maintenance

Our Solution

Working closely with the Premier’s Reading Challenge team, we created a responsive website with a contemporary look and feel that we believe will enrich the experience of everyone involved in the Premier’s Reading Challenge.

A key marker of success for the Premier’s Reading Challenge is to facilitate broader adoption and promotion of the challenge amongst teachers and schools. Developing a modern and user-focussed website solution provided a seamless and intuitive user journey that will help increase awareness and participation in the reading challenge.

Designing a fun website for parent, teachers and students

The Premier’s Reading Challenge website needed to support parents, teachers and students’ experiences and provide them with the specific information each of these groups needed.

In order to understand the requirements and expectations of each user group we created personas that could be used to model the specific user journeys to and through the website. Once we were able to model how a user type might find the website and what they are likely to be looking for we designed and developed the website to support these experiences.

The result is a website that is easy for all user groups to navigate and interact with, from the student looking to find out what books are included in the challenge to the teacher or parent looking for program information or supporting tools and resources.

Custom-built features to optimise the user experience

Designing a website for a tech-native generation meant that their expectations would be high. So, a good user experience for the Premier’s Reading Challenge website had to be a top priority.

A range of advanced custom-built features were designed as part of the new website, such as a comprehensive book search functionality. This ensured users were able to easily find and have access to relevant book information they wanted. We also enhanced the ability to rate books and provide reviews, which are vetted by an administrator before being published.

Another key development was the introduction of a countdown clock for visitors to the site. The countdown clock is visible throughout the user’s journey and ensures you are aware of how much time remains in the current challenge.

Ensuring accessibility by adhering to WCAG 2.0 AA standards

For this project, it was critically important that the website solution was developed in accordance with WCAG 2.0 AA standards of accessibility.

This meant we had to take specific standards of design into mind, including considerations of font sizes and styles, colours and pictures – all while maintaining the correct branding. Another major requirement included optimising the site for screen reader assistive technology, which speaks out content to visually impaired users.

Finally, we created a logical system of navigation, information architecture and a clear user interface to enhance the overall UX of the website.

Making content management quick and easy with WordPress

By building the website using our WordPress CMS framework, we provisioned the Premier’s Reading Challenge team with all its acclaimed user-centric features and benefits. The easy-to-use content management system includes simple and flexible editing and web design customisation.

This customised platform helps to simplify the process of uploading the Premier’s Reading Challenge booklist, as well as its associated management. Additionally, they can now use rich media content throughout the site, such as videos, to speak directly with their users.

' ' The Digital Embassy worked to our brief, were efficient, provided excellent support and delivered on time.

We now have a vibrant, intuitive, responsive site that meets the needs of our staff and students. ' '

- Mark Williams - Manager at Premier's Reading Challenge

Results

The Premier’s Reading Challenge now have a website that gives their users far more functionality, improving their digital experience with the organisation. The Premier’s Reading Challenge team is hopeful that this simplification will result in a higher uptake of the challenge and more happy readers!

The redeveloped Premier’s Reading Challenge website was launched in October 2020 in preparation for the 2021 school year. Despite this being a period between challenges that also includes the major end of year school holidays, the website received record levels of traffic in the weeks after launch.

By early January approximately 5,000 users had visited the website and recorded over 20,000 pageviews. The redeveloped book list had returned over 2,000 searches during this time as users started preparing for the upcoming challenge in Term 1 of the new school year.

It is clear teachers too have embraced the new site with the ‘Staff and Teachers’ section of the website attracting significant activity. The added functionality allows teachers to automatically compare the Challenge book list to their libraries, access special stickers and print pre-design banners and signs and even request a visit from a Premier’s Reading Challenge Ambassador via an online request form.

We are proud to have been involved with this special South Australian education initiative and look forward to seeing students enjoy the new website for years to come.

Ready to talk about your requirements?

Phone us on 1300 375 368 for an obligation-free chat with a digital specialist about how we can help to scale up your business online.

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