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We used a human centred design approach to deliver a better nbn installation experience.

  • Research
  • Service Design
  • Product Development

The installation of high speed, fibre-to-the-node broadband across all of Australia is an enormous and complex undertaking – and it’s enormously important too. Our digital future depends on it.

The installation process has proven to be difficult for Australian families and businesses. nbnco were looking at alternative network technologies and wanted to understand how a smoother, more human-centred installation process might make things better for them. Today was engaged to undertake human-centred design research to identify insights and generate design concepts to help with this.

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Contextual, in-home interviews allowed the research team to observe how people go about the installation process. It also served as an opportunity to work with families and business owners to get a sense of the language they use, and understand how they'd like to see the process improved.

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Observing people as they follow existing – sometimes non-designed – processes also unearths how people improvise and hack their way to an outcome that works for them. These insights often inspire new ways of thinking, and inform better design outcomes. 

Contextual interviews

We conducted contextual interviews to better understand consumer needs and test how the equipment worked for different user archetypes in different contexts.

The one-on-one interviews explored how people went about setting up the equipment, and how likely they were to follow instructions and understand language – especially the existing acronyms and jargon. This enabled us to experience, map and understand how ready people and their homes are to implement the new technology.

Mock environments and design interventions

We designed a mock environment in people's homes to help us work with people to understand where and how they might use the hardware and its accompanying instructions. Different design interventions were introduced to test hypotheses and co-design new ideas with people.


A close up photo of an nbnco modem, under a kicthen bench. There's tins, some sugar and a coffee can on top of the desk.


Today produced design concepts for product and packaging improvements, along with an illustrated handbook that acted as a ‘how to’ guide for installation.