User Research

User research is the basis of all service design – you can’t design a service that works for users without researching what the users need.

Four agencies will share their stories–the things that are the same and the things that were different–of how having strong user research throughout the development of their product or service resulted in a stronger result than they envisaged.

Ranging from federal to state and from external facing to internal standards, this session will show you putting users at the heart of service design can be challenging but it is always worthwhile


Positive journey in aged care

My Aged Care is the Australian Government’s entry point to access government-funded aged care services. This includes a contact centre, website, nationally consistent assessments for eligibility and referral to aged care services.

We released a new website in June 2019 to positive feedback. We are making it easier for people to find information and feel more positive about their aged care journey.

To understand consumer needs and behaviours, the team did regular user research with a range of users to inform, refine, and test the new site. We used an iterative approach with testing at 8 stages in the development of the site. We also:

  • listened to contact centre calls to understand users’ information needs
  • engaged key industry stakeholders
  • reviewed customer feedback, current satisfaction survey results and site usage.

As part of this project, discovery research showed 2 critical points in the customer’s journey–starting out and choosing a provider. Users wanted the website to provide clear, simple, relevant and easy-to-understand information.

My Aged Care applied the Digital Service Standard and engaged with the DTA through assessment at key stages.

Pick My Project

Pick My Project is a Victorian-first, $30 million participatory budgeting initiative, designed to empower citizens and deliver a new standard for online grants.

We encouraged Victorians aged 16 and over to submit ideas to help make their local community an even better place to live. We then asked them to vote for their favourite project ideas to be funded.

Shared decision-making with Victorians meant operating in a highly collaborative way, with a focus on inclusion. This approach influenced all aspects of our program design. From data-driven communications and engagement to an easy-to-use digital platform, we created a sense of local community that went beyond government-defined boundaries. The result was new and strengthened relationships between community and government.

We also equipped our project team to resolve complex project challenges, tackling equitable funding distribution, cross-government relationship management and voting security.

Pick My Project directly engaged over 100,000 Victorians throughout the application and voting stages. Following this, 237 successful project ideas are currently being implemented across the state.

Gateway to carer support and services

The new Carer Gateway website shows how rigorous problem solving in response to user feedback can deliver an outstanding product, matched to user needs. It shows the effectiveness of using the energy and expertise of a small multidisciplinary team. This includes policy, user experience, web development, graphic design, content writing and accessibility experts.

The website, launched in July 2019, provides practical information and support for carers. Our research found carers are time poor, often stressed, and don’t know about services that could help them. We needed to make sure information was easy to find and understand, with clear pathways to services and highest-priority information. Listening to carers was key to achieving this. We developed the website with extensive testing with over 80 carers, followed by rapid adaptations and improvements over 7 website iterations.

We created the website to support carers and convey a sense of belonging. The final user feedback confirmed that we achieved our goals. All of the carers said they were 100% likely to visit the website again and suggest the website to someone they knew. One said, “You’ve just gone way beyond, it’s like you’ve rolled the red carpet out for carers. I love it”.

Date and time



Sutherland Theatrette



Presentation type