Improving government services access with better digital mapping
11 Jan 2022
5 min read
We partnered with Service NSW to improve their digital maps and service findability. Focused on enhancing user experience, accessibility, and consistency, we designed an intuitive and accessible digital mapping tool.
Making government services accessible with Service NSW
Service NSW is a key arm of the New South Wales Government's Department of Customer Service. Their aim is to deliver government services.
With a customer-centric focus, they serve as the essential link for residents, businesses, and partner agencies seeking streamlined access to a range of vital services.
But, as former Minister Victor Dominello identified, surfacing these services in a findable way was proving difficult for the government organisation.
“This is the Map used for the dine and discover vouchers. It’s ok - but it’s not great. There are so many different “maps” used across Govt. For example , My Community Project and the Early Childhood Education finder both have their separate “map” experiences. Some don’t have: filters, pin clustering, list views. We need a one-stop shop for maps in NSW. So regardless of what you are looking for it will be the best customer experience.” - Victor Dominello
Navigating complex digital mapping challenges
Service NSW approached us with the challenge of creating “a one-stop shop for maps in NSW”.
It was clear they needed to reinvigorate their digital mapping solution, create a user-friendly interface, and raise their tool’s usability based on feedback from users.
Key challenges included:
Poor user experience: users encountered unnecessary hurdles when interacting with their maps.
Accessibility shortcomings: map accessibility was falling short of the diverse needs of Service NSW user-base.
Inconsistent user experience: map functionality differed by service offering, adding unnecessary complexity.
Poor information architecture: search functionality was hindered by inconsistencies in the way information was presented.
By engaging with us, Service NSW sought to transform their digital maps to align with their digital transformation goals and meet the needs of their users.
Service NSW provided us with the brief of transforming their digital mapping platform into a more user-centric solution.
Prioritising seniors to improve service accessibility for all users
Recognising Service NSW’s broad audience incorporated a large user base of senior citizens we wanted to ensure the service finder catered to their accessibility needs.
To address the challenges of poor user experience, accessibility limitations, inconsistent functionality, and information architecture hurdles, we leveraged several design methodologies to create a more accessible product for all users.
We reviewed Service NSW’s mapping system and completed a comprehensive market scan to draw inspiration from leaders in accessible mapping design. We conducted stakeholder workshops and user interviews with senior citizens across 3-rounds to gather insights and iteratively improve on an NPS score.
Iterative design rounds, prototyping, user testing activities, and research ensured every design decision was rooted in user needs. Our dedication to content accessibility adhered to WCAG AA standards, also ensuring an inclusive platform.
Our design-led approach enabled us to collaboratively address Service NSW's challenges. We engaged in an iterative design process, refining prototypes based on user testing insights.
A simple, consistent, accessible, and user-friendly digital mapping solution
Our collaborative efforts with Service NSW resulted in an enhanced digital mapping experience that addressed their initial challenges head-on.
Better user experience
The implementation of effective clustering of map points streamlined information access, making it easier for users to navigate service offerings.
Accessibility was significantly improved, catering to the diverse needs of Service NSW's user base whether they were on mobile, desktop, or using the map functionality whilst zoomed in.
Intuitive information architecture
We improved search functionality by using intuitive information architecture that reduced duplication and made it easy for users to quickly navigate through.
Consistency for Service NSW
By providing a solution that worked across their service offerings, we helped to eliminate confusion stemming from inconsistent functionality.
The new design received validation not only from users but also from internal stakeholders and former Minister Victor Dominello:
can edit and update offers and discounts online in about 2 mins via their Service NSW for Business Profile, where as previously, this would have taken weeks to update.
can register/set up a Business Profile and join the Seniors Card program in less than 10 minutes - instead of weeks. You use real-time validation fields such as ABN look-up, pre-population of address field etc, and you can add/manage your discounts as and when you need. The process is straight through - if not, further documentation may be required.
NSW Senior Card holders:
can access an online map - and search by categories - to locate participating businesses' offers and discounts.
Changes to discounts:
are updated on the seniors' card map in close to real-time
Service NSW for Business can register hundreds of new businesses every week via online applications - at the moment, only about 15 paper applications are processed per month.”
Improving usability and accessibility for your digital solution
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