Parks Victoria - horrifically bad new website - info removed

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Parks Victoria - horrifically bad new website - info removed

Postby electricmonk » Fri 22 Apr, 2022 10:47 pm

Hi all,

Parks Victoria has removed all of the PDF park notes documents from its website. All those really useful maps, descriptions etc are just gone. It’s a real travesty. The new website is very lightweight and not very useful or easy to navigate. You can’t search by geographic area, it’s like they’ve just given up on providing comprehensive information to hikers and other park users.

You can still find the old park notes on archive.org’s wayback machine but someone really needs to be accountable for this. I’m going to email a complaint about the terrible website design.

Am I just grumpy or does anyone else agree with me?
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Re: Parks Victoria - horrifically bad new website - info rem

Postby Xplora » Sat 23 Apr, 2022 7:10 am

electricmonk wrote:Hi all,

Parks Victoria has removed all of the PDF park notes documents from its website. All those really useful maps, descriptions etc are just gone. It’s a real travesty. The new website is very lightweight and not very useful or easy to navigate. You can’t search by geographic area, it’s like they’ve just given up on providing comprehensive information to hikers and other park users.

You can still find the old park notes on archive.org’s wayback machine but someone really needs to be accountable for this. I’m going to email a complaint about the terrible website design.

Am I just grumpy or does anyone else agree with me?

Not sure what you mean. I navigated from the home page to the Alpine National Park page and on the right a little way down found all these

Screenshot 2022-04-23 070424.jpg


See here:
https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/places-to- ... ional-park
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Re: Parks Victoria - horrifically bad new website - info rem

Postby ChrisJHC » Sat 23 Apr, 2022 7:42 am

The info’s still there, but you do have to scroll a long way down to find it.

Agree that the website could be improved - it appears to significantly favour looks over usability.
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Re: Parks Victoria - horrifically bad new website - info rem

Postby wazzawalkin » Sat 23 Apr, 2022 8:34 am

It has got better of late, the current style has been a round a few years now and the PDF's etc that @Xplora pointed out have only arrived more recently.
Doing a quick search again this morning of some of my local parks its still a bit hit an miss.
They seem to all have links to local features, (some of which have zero info when you get there) but most don't have any PDF download and little useful info to actually get there let alone to find the start of a walking track.
(eg Warby Ovens and Chiltern Mt Pilot)

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Re: Parks Victoria - horrifically bad new website - info rem

Postby GBW » Sat 23 Apr, 2022 9:03 am

Different mob (DELWP) and a few years old but something along these lines with a half decent map...

https://www.ffm.vic.gov.au/__data/asset ... Trails.pdf
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Re: Parks Victoria - horrifically bad new website - info rem

Postby electricmonk » Sat 23 Apr, 2022 9:15 am

Looks like they’ve created a small number of these new style “visitor guides” but the old “park notes” are just gone. If you put the parks website into the wayback machine you can find way more information via the old park notes PDFs. Very stupid.
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Re: Parks Victoria - horrifically bad new website - info rem

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sat 23 Apr, 2022 2:12 pm

I have a large collection of real paper hard copy Topographical maps. They are generally all I require.
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Re: Parks Victoria - horrifically bad new website - info rem

Postby GBW » Sat 23 Apr, 2022 7:16 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:I have a large collection of real paper hard copy Topographical maps. They are generally all I require.


It is useful to have some extra information on walks that topos don't provide...times, distances, terrain, vegetation, track conditions, water, campsites, POIs, cultural and historical information etc. While all this can be found elsewhere the info provided by PV could be greatly improved.
Last edited by GBW on Sun 24 Apr, 2022 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Parks Victoria - horrifically bad new website - info rem

Postby Xplora » Sun 24 Apr, 2022 6:22 am

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:I have a large collection of real paper hard copy Topographical maps. They are generally all I require.

Visitor guides and information have always been very basic but useful information for travellers. The basic maps have helped us and we did not have to purchase a whole map just for one short walk. I recall there was reference in some to other maps that can be bought to give more detail but not sure if that still is the case. I am sure your large collection of paper maps does not extend to all of Victoria.

Parks visitor guides are also placed in tourist information centres. Most people will however pull out their phone now and look it all up so having it accessible online is important. It is not something I would often do so making it easy is good. I am not sure of the response a complaint would get but the complaint would need to be specific. Site examples. Good luck.
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Re: Parks Victoria - horrifically bad new website - info rem

Postby nezumi » Sat 30 Apr, 2022 9:33 am

It certainly feels like every "update" to the PV website over the past decade has resulted in a reduction in both functionality and usefulness, especially in terms of finding information about walks.
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Re: Parks Victoria - horrifically bad new website - info rem

Postby electricmonk » Mon 09 May, 2022 1:33 pm

I've sent a comprehensive email to info@parks.vic.gov.au complaining about the new website.

I mean, check out the old site. There's just no contest:
https://web.archive.org/web/20190306211 ... ic.gov.au/

It had useful links such as:
"Find a Park"
"Parks by Name"
"Parks Locator Map"
"Visitor Guides"

You would think that some basic requirements of this new website would be:
a) a comprehensive directory of parks managed by Parks Victoria
b) a map of Victoria's parks

The worst part is the lack of visitor guides. You can sometimes find them if you click enough links but often in non-intuitive places.

The redesign appears to have been led by this new administrative team that came in in 2017 led by Matthew Jackson, who has previously worked for smaller scale and vastly more commercial organisations like Philip Island Nature Parks and Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. The website redesign was led by communications chief Lisa Patroni who also came in in 2017 and previously worked for Victoria Racing Club and Peter Rowland Catering. Very corporate. I can only assume that the problem is a broad lack of familiarity with the purpose and nature of Victoria's national parks.

These are people who are focused on Melbourne's brand and presenting Melbourne as a product but have no experience with managing public amenities like Victoria's National Parks.

Anyway, I'm sure they're smart enough people but people need to communicate to them that the website doesn't contain nearly as much useful info as it used to and that they need to add this information back in. The site used to be a public amenity in itself as a directory to the greatest of public amenities, Victoria's national parks. I was half tempted to complain to the environment minister Lily D'Ambrosio but I'll see what reply I get first.
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Re: Parks Victoria - horrifically bad new website - info rem

Postby CraigVIC » Wed 08 Jun, 2022 1:15 pm

Any reply, electricmonk?
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