Customer Portals

Case studies from government agencies and jurisdictions around Australia focussing on using the internet to better deliver better government services for Australians.

You will hear:

  • how an award-winning website was developed with consumers as partners
  • how extensive user research informed the build priorities of one of the Australian Public Service's busiest service and information portals
  • how the goal of ‘simplicity’ created a portal that has made it easier to engage with Australia’s aid program
  • how building capability and simplifying processes result in better service delivery for Victorians

Case studies:

  • A one stop mental health shop – Department of Health
  • Building a top 3 website for 20 million users – Department of Home Affairs
  • To search and supply Australian aid – Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Single Digital Presence – Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet


A one stop mental health shop

Head to Health is the Australian Government’s digital mental health gateway. The service helps people more easily access information, advice, free and low-cost phone and online mental health services and support. The website contains professionally-curated, evidence-based information, a decision support tool, an interactive service finder, and an underpinning service catalogue.

Head to Health provides an overview of mental health and educates users on how digital services–including helplines, crisis services, online community forums, online structured treatment programs, and information sites–can help support an individual’s mental health. Asearch functionality based on natural language processing and a chatbot guides users through the available resources.

Head to Health is a collaboration between the Department of Health, Core Community Group of people with lived experience, Liquid Interactive and Speedwell. Through a rigorous co-design process and face-to-face workshops and other engagement methods, we developed insight into user needs and industry constraints. We also gained an intimate understanding of the voice and values of users, which we reflected in the content on the site.

The results have been positive and the site continues to evolve based on user feedback and performance analytics.

Building a top 3 website for 20 million users

The aim of our website re-development project was to deliver a refresh of the website. The project set out to re-imagine the delivery of content for visas, citizenship, border crossings and the importing of goods into Australia.

To do this, the project took a user-centred approach, identifying the services users needed, and then mapped the current experience of users of those services. Through a significant number of user research and service design activities, the team were able to understand user pain points, and prototype new approaches to deliver our services.

A significant scope change to include the delivery of a group of websites halfway through the project was a challenge. This was a result of the new Home Affairs Portfolio.

The project team delivered a private Beta of the Immigration and Citizenship ecosystem website, within the original project timeframe. This included completely restructuring and rewriting the visa content in plain English, designing and re-writing the Australian Border Force site in under 2 months, and developing a strategy for the management of the new portfolio functions to be modular and scalable.

This presentation focuses on the core site of Immigration and Citizenship. We will talk through what we did and the lessons we learned.

To search and supply Australian aid

AusConnect links, through a single site, suppliers with opportunities and searchers wanting to engage in the aid program .

In 2016, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) research identified its aid supply-chain faced serious difficulties for users searching for opportunities. To correct this market inefficiency, DFAT launched a portal developed by CRE8IVE for suppliers to advertise sub-contracting and recruitment opportunities.

We wanted to use technology better to make it easier for users to deal with and access government services–in this case the aid program. DFAT also wanted to assist underrepresented and smaller groups, who typically have higher proportional business development costs, to more easily seek opportunities. This included small and medium enterprises, the research sector, Indigenous companies, and women.

Simplicity drove the site’s build and implementation, including displaying on mobile devices. Our clean and agile interface allows users to access information quickly. Early testing suggested the site loaded faster than Google. This is important in developing countries where bandwidth can be limited.

Launched by the Assistant Minister for International Development and the Pacific in December 2018, AusConnect saves time and money and in the world of businesses, especially small business, that is everything.

Single Digital Presence

Creating a common user experience through a user-first approach, Single Digital Presence (SDP) makes it easier for people to find, understand and use Victorian Government information.

Delivered by Digital, Design and Innovation in the Department of Premier and Cabinet Victoria, SDP is an open-source platform allowing government agencies to host, manage and publish content at scale. We were one of the first Australian Government departments to adopt this type of containerised hosting model. 

SDP allows government digital projects to be developed with less cost and effort, with fewer compliance and overhead activities–such as accessibility, syndication, security–and faster speed-to-market.

We invite reuse and contribution by other agencies to extend the platform and increase benefits to citizens and the public sector.

Date and time



Murray Room



Presentation type

Case studies