NZTE opts for SharePoint for website rebuild

The focus is on user-centred design, self-service and intuitive search

New Zealand Trade & Enterprise is redesigning its website, with phase one going live early next year.

The existing NZTE website was created in 2003, says Julian Moore, NZTE’s group general manager of marketing and corporate services. “While it is rich in information, it is not organised around client needs. It is therefore not always easy to get to the relevant information,” he says.

The redevelopment of the website is the first step to improving NZTE’s online presence, says Moore. NZTE is also installing a new web IT platform, which will facilitate the availability of some of its services online.

The new site aims to deliver information and guidance to growing, globally-minded local businesses as effectively as possible, says Moore. “User-centred design, information architecture and content are the primary focuses for the first delivery,” he says.

NZTE wants to provide a degree of self-service, so visitors can find key information intuitively, says Moore. He is hoping that the new website will assist in, for example, applying for networking opportunities and grants, as well as deliver information in a much more user-accessible way.

NZTE’s internal web team is in charge of the project. The organisation has a project manager, an experience manager — who ensures the online experience of the new site reflects NZTE’s user-centric strategy — and a content manager on staff, he says.

The organisation also uses an external technology supplier, which is currently building the new technical platform on which the site will be delivered. It is also in the process of selecting a web design and production supplier to work with the internal team, he adds.

The revamped site is being built on the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) platform.

“The platform is important, because NZTE has complex website needs — from marketing and event campaign websites to team collaboration tools used internally or with specialised client groups,” says Moore.

“MOSS is highly customisable, so we’ll be building web parts and functionality specifically to meet the organisation’s strategic needs.”

At the front-end, the site will employ Flash for interactive elements and video. The team is likely to use AJAX or Silverlight to deliver dynamic features and navigational elements, says Moore.

The development will follow a phased approach, so not all of the functionality and content NZTE plans to deliver will be part of the first iteration, says Moore.

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