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New Zealand Government Web Guidelines

This glossary entry relates to The New Zealand Government Web Guidelines versions 2.1 and has been superceded by: New Zealand Government Web Standards and Recommendations v.1.0, which came into effect 1 Jan 2008.

The New Zealand Government Web Guidelines:

[establish] standards for public sector websites in New Zealand.

they are also:

Guidelines for the management and design of New Zealand public sector websites.

Interpretation

…the guidelines acknowledge interpretation as part of the implementation process.

Although often perceived as a prescriptive document (possibly due the use of words such as ‘compliance’), the guidelines acknowledge interpretation as part of the implementation process.

The introduction to the document sets out formal definitions for the following key terms:

must
required or absolute requirement
should
recommended, but may be modified in appropriate circumstances
may
optional

(To be precise, the guidelines refer to an Internet Engineering Task Force memo regarding the definition of requirement levels.)

Sections relevant to developers

Many of the guidelines are internally focused and relate to the core values of the New Zealand Government and the E-government Programme. Guidelines relating to web strategies, content and delivering content are those most likely to impact on web designers and developers.

Web strategies

Emphasis is often placed on the standards aspect of the document; guidelines that relate to technical specifications and accessibility—essentially how a website should be built (authored). However, the guidelines also recommend that organisations create a formal web strategy, and that such a strategy should make reference to:

A reasonable interpretation of this recommendation is that any implementation project should be undertaken with reference to the organisation’s web strategy, and that this strategy should inform decisions related to web content, technical standards and accessibility requirements.

New Zealand Government Web Guidelines: 4 Web strategies

[Web] Content

Section five discusses content preparation, management and minimum requirements.

5.1.2 Audiences

Begin any consideration of content by identifying and understanding the needs of the core and non-core audiences for your agency’s site. …

Other key topics include:

New Zealand Government Web Guidelines: 5 Content

Delivering content

…technical and accessibility recommendations…

Section six of the guidelines addresses technical and accessibility recommendations including:

New Zealand Government Web Guidelines: 6 Delivering content

Guidelines version 2.2

The New Zealand State Services Commission (SSC) established a working group in August 2005 to review the current guidelines, review clarity and compliance issues, and draft version 2.2 of the guidelines [1]. (Phase one of the project has been completed as at November 2005.)

Related terms: New Zealand Government Web Standards and Recommendations, validation, (web) accessibility, web standards, Section 508.

 

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