Our Wizards Behind the Curtain are the creative and technical driving forces behind the tools and resources we create to bring major projects to life and support community engagement. With millions of assets created from project fly-throughs to immersive engagement portals, we caught up with front-end developer Harry Gulioen to chat with them about an asset they have developed and to outline the impact it made on a key project.
I'm really proud of a post-it-note style comment board for a portal page we were improving that is all about engagement with the wider community (it’s called "Get involved") The client wanted a way to share information but also encourage the community to submit their own ideas and interacting with other peoples ideas by enabling them to vote.
Used by the Star of the South wind farm project in Gippsland, Victoria, the core of this tool is the benefit-sharing program and starting a conversation to hear about the opportunities and challenges facing the local community and their big ideas for how we could help address them if Star of the South is approved and proceeds to construction. The two key questions posted were:
Developing any asset always poses a challenge and, in this case, my thoughts were based on how the idea, "sounds like social media", so I thought that we could display the comments right there on a section of the page while allowing people to "like" them much like many social media platforms. The challenge was working out the layout and creating an interface for the client to approve the ideas before posting them publicly on the page.
We overcame the challenge by embracing the post-it/card look. The layout offers a nice balance that allows enough space on the space to portray "this is important" and also provides a good deal of interactivity (liking comments, clicking them for an expanded view, including any images the commentator may have included and, of course, commenting yourself).
I like this asset because it’s a visually appealing comment board, and I love that real stakeholders interact with it by leaving and liking comments. The best part is that this tool and the thinking behind it we can repurpose for another portal and project that could benefit from this tool; it’s now easy to add!
And it would make sense to do so as, the tool has allowed us to pose some questions pertinent to the project and allow stakeholders and people affected to give real ideas or promote that of others by liking them- and it's working! I think that’s a beautiful thing and speaks to the heart of community engagement.
It’s always interesting to design something for a different type of community. Normally we design assets for consumption by the public to understand the details, scale and scope of major infrastructure projects, so it was great to work on a project designed for the construction and infrastructure industry, a Procurement Packages display tool.
This is a new way of converting data for our interactive engagement portals and then displaying it for businesses wishing to tender for opportunities within the program of works on the the Warringah Freeway Upgrade - https://caportal.com.au/rms/wfu/procurement
I like this asset because I know it makes a genuine difference to the industry, as all businesses need opportunities to engage with major projects, and this tool allows that to happen. It has a tangible purpose with stakeholders interacting with it regularly - the contracts on that page directly influence who's doing what on a large infrastructure project, and I get to ensure that the data sorts itself in a way that’s visually appealing and easy to filter with little human monthly maintenance required. It’s a simple solution to a challenge and one that works well.
And we have seen the benefits across the project as this tool helps support the project with the critical construction phase by engaging with suppliers ensuring procurement information is readily available to ensure the project can reach the right network of suppliers and continue to meet delivery project milestones.