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Refreshing our navigation to help you find what you need

If you remember a while back, we ran a series of online user research for We focused on looking at where you would expect to find content. This has helped us determine what changes might be needed to make finding things on easier.

What did we find out?

We had over 150 people share their feedback from a wide range of audiences and it’s highlighted some useful things.

Depending on the task, users had trouble understanding what was in the dataset section:

  • was it data?
  • guidance about data?
  • a place to request data?

We needed to make it clearer who each section of the site is for and what you’d expect to find there.

The community section was seen as confusing. We found what people really wanted was to know when upcoming events were so they could connect with others in the data community e.g. meetups, hackathon events and the like.

The Standards and Guidance section wasn’t clear who should be looking in there and why. Once users did look beyond the first level of navigation however, the second level of navigation was clearer and most participants could find their way to the content in the tasks we set.

Based on the data we’re looking to make some changes to the structure of our content over the next several weeks. The most important change is that our main navigation will become more focused so it’s clear where you should be heading to get the information you need for a given task you’re trying to complete.

What’s it going to look like?

Here’s what the main navigation will change to (and why!) and what you’ll find there in the future:

  • Get datasets – Takes you to the catalogue of available datasets
  • Manage data – Guidance and other reference material relating to managing and publishing data
  • Use data – Guidance and reference material on using data including data use showcase
  • Open data – Any content relating to open data (publishing or using) and any policy relating to open data eg. Open Data Charter
  • Events – Listing of upcoming data related events, meetups, data community events, conferences etc
  • Blog – News and updates from the and Stats NZ teams, product updates, guest posts from the data community
  • About – Strategic level information about the GCDS, Open data programme, history of

 Screenshot of the new navigation.

“What about dataset requests?” I hear you say

Back when was only a data catalogue it made sense to have this as a tab in the main navigation because you were always in “search for data” mode. We've moved on and we now have a wider richness of content including case studies, which are being renamed “showcases” by the way; guidance; blogging etc on We're much more that just a cata catalogue now.

The user research pointed at requesting datasets making more sense if shown when you are looking for a dataset and can’t find what you need. With that in mind we’ll be adding the dataset request button conveniently in the data catalogue once you’ve performed a search query. It’ll also be at the bottom of every dataset results page (we assume if you can’t find what you were looking for by the time you’ve scrolled to the bottom, then it’s time to lodge a request).

Screenshot showing the location of the data request button in the data search

All in all, the new structure should make it faster to find the things you need on and if the user research is anything to go by we hope you enjoy making use of it too.

If you want to get updates as we roll these changes out you can follow our @data_govt_nz twitter account or sign up for our mailing list.




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