7 Sep 2015

Go on - stick your beak in!

10:17 am on 7 September 2015

We are about to start re-designing radionz.co.nz and we want you to help us.

Most websites re-design every few years. It's a process that rarely involves the public at large, or if it does the input you can have is minimal.

We aren't like that. We'd like you to be involved. The process will take months, and before we get started we'd like to hear from you (see at the foot of this article).

To get you in the mood here is a short history of RNZ online.

Site History

The first website Radio New Zealand launched was for the shortwave service in 1995. RNZ International (RNZI) was one of six public broadcast sites on the web at the time and was also one of the first to offer download-able audio.

The first RNZ domestic website was launched in 1999 and was built to provide a web presence on this new 'internet thing'. It had no news or audio but visitors could get up-to-date programme schedules and read about future broadcasts. Wow!

Just for fun we've resurrected this site for you to enjoy (and laugh at). There will be a few links that no longer work, but one thing you might like is the Digital Life series which looks at life online in the early 2000s.

In 2001, RNZI launched a basic news service on its site. Then 2003 saw a rebranding of the RNZ site. Staff were able to update it via a new-fangled content management system (CMS) that replaced the completely manual editing required for the previous site.

By 2004 we started a revamp of the site. The existing RNZ station logos were not used, being unsuitable for the web, and were replaced by a 'waves' brand motif.

That was launched in October 2005 and was an immediate hit with our audience, although we only launched with a basic news service and audio for five programmes. The on-demand audio was only available for one week after broadcast because the cost of storage was prohibitive. Podcasts of these programmes were added in 2006.

In 2007 the National Radio, Concert FM and other brands were replaced with Radio New Zealand National and Radio New Zealand Concert - longer to say, and to type - and the site had to be updated to reflect the new brands.

In 2008 we changed from a rolling one-week archive of content, to keeping everything. Today there are more than 210,000 audio items available or 34,000 hours in total, and 280,000 news items.

In 2013 we completed another redesign. This has continued to evolve, with changes to make it more friendly for mobile devices and improvements to the home page.

It's your turn!

We have had a lot of feedback about the site over the last 10 years, and we know that you have strong feelings about public broadcasting, this site, and the content we produce.

That's why we want to hear from you. We have opened a new discussion in our forums for you to leave comments and discuss your ideas with others.

Please let us know what you like and don't like about the current site. What could be improved? What can't you do without? What do you want to see?

The lines are open... and we're very excited about what you've got to say.