What organisation collects and edits so many figures and data in order to publish them clearly and transparently? That is Statistics Netherlands (Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek; CBS). One of the areas in which Statistics Netherlands collects statistical information is the Youth Monitor. “An excellent website in terms of content, but with outdated technology and design and also not suitable for the growing number of mobile visitors”, says Gijsbert van Dalen, editor of Communications and News at Statistics Netherlands.
From the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport the CBS was commissioned to realize a new website. “The site had to meet the government’s house style and accessibility requirements”, Gijsbert van Dalen looks back. “In addition, a clear presentation of the statistics was very important. These statistics come from a separate tool of Statistics Netherlands and must be presented in such a way that users can easily work with them. We also wanted visitors to be able to determine more quickly whether the content of the page is relevant to them”.
Gijsbert van Dalen wanted to collaborate with a company with which CBS already had good experiences. “Ibuildings had already created the corporate news site and the Long-term Care Monitor, which resembles the Youth Monitor in design and content. I heard that they work quickly and in a customer-focused way. And deliver what they need to deliver without much hassle. That sounds like music to my ears, of course!
Bright, ambitious and realistic
Because the design of the website was already fixed, Statistics Netherlands asked the selected parties to offer as competitive an offer as possible in terms of price and time. Gijsbert van Dalen was positively surprised by the sleek presentation of Ibuildings. “Their set-up was very clear, well-organised. They showed exactly what they were going to do and when, who the contact points were. This showed that they really understood the assignment. Ibuildings also picked up the short turnaround time very well. Their timeframe was tight, ambitious, but certainly realistic, in our opinion. We immediately had the confidence that this was going to work out well.
And did everything go according to plan? “Yes, as a matter of fact, it did. We’ve had a very small one-week run, but I had secretly anticipated that. If you plan so ambitious, I don’t blame you for a part coming a week later. Besides, I was kept well informed, so that wasn’t a problem. We stayed within budget with some extra work, outside the project. Ibuildings stayed well within the assignment and also did some extra work. Isn’t that what you want?”
“What I’m very pleased with is the way they made the numbers tables. It is quite complicated to create a table module within a content management system (cms) that is easy to use and at the same time looks nice on the website, also mobile. Ibuildings really came up with a good idea for this. It is now very easy to indicate in the cms what kind of table you want and then enter the numbers, add a column, remove or hide them. That works very well and we hadn’t thought of it ourselves”.
Statistics Netherlands is pleased with the result. “The website fits today’s times and the visitor profiles of today. It is accessible, austere, more human, too: you see photos of the youth it’s about. The site is now also very usable on mobile phones. It invites more reading and research and that is the purpose of the website”, says Gijsbert van Dalen. And also happy with Ibuildings? “From the very first presentation until the end of the project, Ibuildings was always clear in their communication, thinking along and customer-oriented. What they deliver is good. And that is worth a recommendation!”
The Youth Monitor
The Youth Monitor is a summary of information, on the Internet and on paper, about the situation of young people in the Netherlands and publishes figures on the themes of family, education, safety and justice, health and welfare and labour. The website is intended to inform policymakers, researchers and other interested parties about the situation of young people.