The first Alpha passes its service assessment

Over the past 12 weeks a team from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the DTO has been working hard to improve the way people can book and reschedule appointments for their citizenship test.

Currently the process is time-consuming and inconvenient for both clients and the Department. Appointments and ID checks have to be done in person and they are currently scheduled by the Department. Rescheduling has to be done over the phone with long wait times, causing frustration for the user. This could be avoided if the user chose the appointment time and date that suited them.

Like all projects that are part of the Digital Transformation Programme, this service is being built in line with the Digital Service Standard. We formally assess projects against the Standard to make sure we’re designing quality services. We’ll do assessments at least twice before publicly releasing it as a Beta product. We’ll also publish the result of every assessment so people inside and outside government can learn more about the Standard and how it’s assessed.

Last week, with the help of Head of Service Design Leisa Reichelt and Development Strategy Adviser Jordan Hatch, I had the pleasure of leading the Alpha assessment of the citizenship booking service against the Digital Service Standard. This was a bit of a milestone as it was the first assessment done by the DTO. The first of many!

Over a few hours we road-tested the product against the service assessment process. We discussed their Discovery process and how the team went about understanding user needs. We were taken on the journey of what it’s like to become an Australian citizen. Through these stories we learned about some common frustrations experienced by people applying for citizenship.

The team then demonstrated their Alpha prototype, explained how it addressed the user need and how they iterated the design based on feedback from usability testing. The good news? The team passed the service assessment, getting the green light from us to move into the Beta stage. You can read the assessment report for the full details.

It was a great experience and a privilege to be able to share the team’s work and offer some recommendations for improvement. I’m confident the team will benefit from the early and structured feedback.

As we do more assessments we’ll continue to gain valuable insight into how teams are adopting the Standard. What we learn we will then feed back into the Digital Service Standard, the guides and the Service Standard assessment process to improve those as well.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to take a look at the citizenship appointment booking service assessment report, and of course stay tuned for the results of other assessments as our products progress.

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