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Prototyping an omnichannel service experience for whole-of-government services with the Government of Victoria

2015

The challenge

The Victorian government wanted to prototype a one-stop-shop customer service experience, where any government transactions could take place, from booking a marriage ceremony to requesting a death certificate or updating a driver's licence.

Today was brought in to understand Victorians' service preferences, and prototype an integrated physical storefront and digital service experience to simulate how a potential, larger scale service might operate.

Impact opportunity

A simplified and unified approach to transacting with the government would mean huge time savings for citizens, and even bigger savings for the Victorian government—so that ultimately more money can be diverted to health, education, and essential services.

Process

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Contextual enquiry

We conducted one-on-one interviews with Victorian citizens to understand their relationship with the Victorian government, their understanding of government transactions and the decision-making process they go through when they need to transact with government.

In addition to the deeper one-on-one interviews, group workshops were conducted to uncover wider perceptions of government services and marginal groups' relationship with the public sector.

Throughout the project, we immersed ourselves in government service centres in Melbourne to observe behaviour and run intercept interviews with people as they queued before their transaction, and to capture their experience as they exited. We also looked at comparative service centres to observe things like traffic flow, models of self-service, and assisted digital service models in operation.

Client testimonial

The project was an ambitious undertaking, and I am pleased to confirm that the work we did with Today has had a lasting, positive effect on public service transaction delivery in Victoria.

Insights into customers' decision-making factors and the service principles put forward by Today have been used across different Victorian Government departments to create new service experiences and helped support a business case which saw AUD $15 million set aside to establish a new whole-of-government agency, now known as Service Victoria.

Paul Santamaria
Project Manager, Victorian Transaction Reform Program — Department of Premier and Cabinet

Ethnographic research

Government services need to work well for everybody; it was important to understand the needs of citizens outside mainstream service requirements.

Our research emphasised learning from people who may experience barriers due to disability, language, age, literacy, culture and geography.

Group workshops were used as a way to stimulate thought amongst the group and to gather both assenting and dissenting views. They also allow us to validate insights gathered during one-on-one interviews and speak with a larger number of people.

During the trial, we learnt that Victorians see government very differently to the private sector. They value certainty, consistency, predictability and speed. Government transactions are often time-consuming and frustrating to complete, and if provided with the choice, citizens would prefer to avoid them. What we designed needed to meet these expectations for citizens, both to provide the best experience possible, but most importantly to provide the Victorian Government with a clear picture of a truly citizen-centric service offering.

Winner, SdN Award (Prototyping Organisational Change) at the international Service Design Awards

Winner, Service Design (Public Sector) at the 2015 Good Design Awards

Outcome

3,052 people visited the centres over the 83 days they were open, making this one of the largest surveys of Victorians' preferences ever. The project was part of a program of work which led to the establishment of Service Victoria, a new agency tasked with service transformation.

Insights into citizen’s decision-making factors and the service design principles have also been used across different Victorian Government departments, such as VicRoads, to inform the design and creation of new service centres.

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Designing and building a new way to access online assistance during family violence with Magistrate's Court of Victoria

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