Golden Plains Award Winning App

Boost Regional Tourism With An Award Winning App

In May 2011, Golden Plains Shire Council embarked on a bold plan to develop a smartphone app aimed at promoting tourism in the region. After a short tendering process, we (Gsoft Production Media) were commissioned as the developers and got to work immediately. We worked closely with the team at GP Shire Council to lock in a solid design that met all their requirements and painted the region in its best light.
The Golden Plains Region is a vibrant rural municipality, boasting award winning wineries, popular film and music festivals, beautiful natural attractions and quaint original gold mining townships. The app was designed to display all of these attractions using images, maps and tourism information.

The Golden Plains Region is a vibrant rural municipality, boasting award winning wineries, popular film and music festivals, beautiful natural attractions and quaint original gold mining townships. The app was designed to display all of these attractions using images, maps and tourism information.

The app development process was a smooth one, and in late 2011 it was released on iOS and Android – phone and tablets. The response from the public was very positive, and the app immediately increased the tourism experience. In April 2012 we received a pleasant surprise – Golden Plains Shire Council had won the 2012 National Award for Local Government in Innovative Infrastructure (Small Council) and the overall National Award for Excellence (Small Council) for this digital development..

The Process

Development of the app worked well for one main reason – careful planning and design. The design team at GP Shire Council worked closely with our designers to formulate a detailed plan before any source code was written. As expected, there were minor cosmetic changes made along the way, but all in all there was very little deviation from the original functional specification.

Development of the iOS version was completed first, followed by Android. This method is one we recommend to all clients as Android development can be a little more complicated due to varying screen sizes and OS features.

In 2013, a sophisticated new function was added that utilizes augmented reality to show off the view from one of the regions’ most popular attractions – Flagstaff Hill Lookout.

The app aims to connect users to experiences and local businesses seamlessly, and does so with a simple yet effective interface, combined with dynamic and local content. GP Shire Council prides itself on innovation and forward thinking in economic development, and they’re delighted that the award recognises their work.

A New App

Recently GP Shire Council have extended their app offering by developing the “Ballarat to Skipton Rail Trail” app for iOS. The Ballarat to Skipton Rail Trail is a 53km bike trail that runs along the old railway line. The app is designed to be taken on the ride and dynamically displays information about attractions along the way. There is also an interactive feature where the rider can “race the train” – using data from the original train timetable.

Again, this project had a solid design from the start. We suggested some UI improvements during development, which greatly enhanced the user experience and the app has proved another major success. At the moment this app is only available on iOS platform, but there are plans to develop for Android in the near future.

Expanding Web Presence

Around the same time, GP Shire Council commissioned us to create an interactive new website -http://www.lifeasitshouldbe.com.au. The website features five floating videos that contain content relevant to whatever page the user has navigated to – home, visit, live, work or invest. The videos were shot in various locations in the region and tell stories of locals that visit, work, live or invest in the area.

Golden Plains Shire Council continue to pave the way for regional shires by utilizing mobile technology to reach their audience in a new, innovative way. We’re pleased to be regularly engaged by Golden Plains Shire and are looking forward to extending their suite of apps even further in the coming years.

For more information about app development for iOS or Android, contact us now at Gsoft Production Media.