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Publishing plans without a plan? A hot take on missed opportunities

July 19, 2021
6
minute read

Comprehensive. Climate Action. Master. Transportation. Parks. You name it!

Plans take years for local governments to develop, both behind the scenes and in the public eye.

They follow a carefully constructed process to engage stakeholders and become adopted, and the official end product regularly impacts hundreds of thousands of people, often for a decade or longer.

The role these plans play in the development of a community is hard to understate, yet the insights within the plan are less than approachable to most stakeholders and citizens.

Our hot take: 

*More often than not, the final step of presenting a plan is the least thought out.*

Why do plans that take years of effort to develop and reach adoption by a council or a board, unceremoniously wind up as PDF download links?

For example:

Plans are typically found as an innocuous hyperlink under paragraph two or three of a landing page that's 6 clicks deep into a city's website.

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Without decades of status quo telling us that this is how it should be done, would anyone think that this should be a standard practice in 2023? Is this the practice that a city striving for transparency, equity, and approachability would do if there wasn’t an informally set precedent to justify doing what could be described as… the bare minimum?

Ask yourself: Is a landing page with a hyperlink enough to ensure that all of the hard work and carefully written and reviewed insights, goals, or guidelines are discoverable, approachable, accessible, and easy to navigate for your audience?

For many reasons, we think not. 

Who are we to talk? ‚Äć

Konveio provides a Document Engagement Platform, which lies at the intersection of public information sharing and feedback collection. 

Though Konveio has made a name for itself in the stakeholder and public feedback phase of important plans across the globe, our platform is now being recognized for its ability to present public information and final or adopted plans as living documents that are easier to navigate, more accessible, and simply more approachable. 

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What to strive for in the modern age: 

We believe PDF documents contain a tremendous amount of value. They are carefully vetted and reviewed source of truth. We also believe that they need a little help to be as useful as they could be to all relevant stakeholders.

The experience your reader has is something you can now control and improve with Konveio - without the extra time, budget, and effort of building HTML pages that are difficult to maintain. 

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With Konveio you can: 

  • Embed our interactive document viewer directly on your official city landing pages¬†
  • Define jargon and acronyms for readability on every page.
  • Curate media across your document where it matters most, instead of overwhelming them upfront.
  • Present living documents by providing updates, tracking progress, or adding clarifications anywhere in your document at any time.¬†
  • Offer mobile-friendly reading experiences, turning standard PDFs into more of an e-book with legible font sizes, proper heading structures, and easier-to-view tables/images.¬†
  • Allow visitors to ask questions about a document and receive quick answers via a GPT-based AI model and links to the pages where the information can be found in context (coming soon).¬†
  • And‚Ķ so much more!¬†

Konveio: The right plan for publishing plans‚Äć

As biased as we inherently are, we genuinely believe Konveio is the answer for 90% of local governments. And it's becoming more evident by the day as we approach the release of (optional) Artificial Intelligence features powered by GPT.

To date, the primary alternative to the reliance on static documents for presenting information to the public has been to build an html website, which is tedious to set up and difficult to maintain. Expensive alternatives are often ignorant to the realities most local governments are facing in terms of staff time and budget.

And even if the staff time and budget was available and an HTML website was created, a positive end result isn't guaranteed in terms of user experience, ability for staff to maintain and make updates in house, or that it will meet accessibility standards for WCAG and screen readers. If you make your document accessible, you'll still have to make your website accessible too.

Think of Konveio as your on-ramp to digital transformation. Not only can you use Konveio to quickly publish all of your existing plans in a more approachable and accessible way (both as a standalone platform or as an integrated experience on your website), but you can also use Konveio to facilitate feedback and discussion with private stakeholder groups or the public on any upcoming plans or general engagement activities.

Curious to learn more?: 

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