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A new digital presence for a new Governor.

Zeroseven worked with the Office of the Governor of Queensland to refresh their digital presence and build a new, user-friendly website that reflects the heritage and legacy of the Office while facing the future. 

Dr Young's inauguration

The client 

The Governor of Queensland performs the constitutional and ceremonial functions of the monarch of Australia at the state level. The role encompasses a wide range of important duties and responsibilities for the benefit of all Queenslanders. 

Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young PSM was sworn in as Queensland’s 27th Governor on 1 November 2021. Prior to this appointment, Dr Young had served in the role of Chief Health Officer for Queensland since August 2005, and was acclaimed for her management of the state’s COVID-19 response.

Dr Young has pledged to serve, acknowledge and support Queenslanders wherever they may live, and to travel widely throughout the state, especially to Indigenous communities. Her other priorities as Governor are to promote literacy, especially for Indigenous children and young girls; to encourage a healthy and active Queensland; and to visit every public hospital throughout her term. 

The Office of the Governor provides support to the Governor in all aspects of the Governor’s role, including her constitutional and legal duties; ceremonial duties; and civic duties and community engagements.

The Office of the Governor is also responsible for the stewardship of the Governor’s residence, Government House, a Queensland landmark steeped in historical, cultural and environmental significance. 

The objective 

To coincide with the appointment of Dr Young, the Office of the Governor of Queensland determined it was time to rebuild and refresh the official Government House Queensland website. The site provides Queenslanders with information and updates on the Governor’s activities and duties, as well as information about the Office of the Governor and the heritage-listed Government House.

As an award-winning digital strategy and .NET development agency based in Brisbane, Zeroseven were the logical choice to take on this task. Zeroseven had built and managed the original Government House website for the previous Governor, His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC QC, but because we know the nature of web design and development is one of constant change and evolution, we were excited to work with the Office of the Governor to revitalise their digital presence. 

Because of the importance of transparency in the Governor’s role, it was important that the site could be easily updated by the Office on a daily basis to reflect the Governor’s program and document her speeches and vice-regal engagements. 

Time was also of the essence. In order for the new site’s launch to coincide with Dr Young’s swearing-in ceremony, it had to be developed in just six weeks.

Mockup of Queensland Government House website on mobile

The solution 

While it was important to retain the integrity of Government House’s legacy brand, we were able to give the site a contemporary makeover with some subtle design touches. 

Moving away from the boxy layout of the previous design, we introduced a fresh, clean and open look with a range of modern user interface elements, and refined the user experience to make navigating the site simpler than ever. 

Some of the most important changes were in the use of colour and typography. For the most part, we removed the beige colours that had previously defined the look of the site, and added tasteful pops of colour where appropriate to give the site a more modern look. 

The previous design had predominantly featured decorative serif fonts, in order to convey a sense of heritage and tradition. For the new site, we replaced these with humanist sans serif typefaces – an unexpected and counter-intuitive move for a site of this nature, perhaps, but one that gave the layout a renewed sense of warmth, accessibility and approachability, in line with the Office’s desire for a new look that reflected the new Governor. 

In the process of building the new-look site, we created a detailed digital style guide to ensure consistency across each page. We also provided this guide to the Office of the Governor for their own internal use, in order to ensure the new Governor’s digital presence coheres across each of her channels. 

Perhaps most importantly, the site was built on the open-source Umbraco CMS, known for its flexibility and intuitive editing experience. This makes it easy and efficient for the Office to update the site each day with the Governor’s latest movements, announcements, acknowledgements and updates, without requiring any technical expertise on their end. 

It all adds up to a site that’s both practical and aesthetically pleasing, going above and beyond the expectations of the Office. 

We look forward to Dr Young continuing her mission to be a Governor for all Queenslanders – and we’re proud to have built a website that will help her to achieve this ambition.