Immigration Gateway profiled in Interaction Design Guide.



Disruption is often cited when a non-traditional player enters a market, using digital to upend the conventions of delivery, distribution, service experience and value. Equally, digital transformation and migration are the objectives of many large organisations and government agencies, seeking to lower the cost to serve and improve efficiency and effectiveness. For users, the benefits are compelling; leading to improved accessibility and experience, savings in time and the masking of complexity.

All too often projects fail to deliver, due to the inability to evolve and adapt legacy business practice, a failure to understand the capability required internally to navigate change, the challenges inherent in large-scale programmes of work and an inability for organisations to see the investment value in radical step change.

The Immigration New Zealand Visa Gateway project was not without its challenges – such as the change in capability and approach required due to the content and interaction model proposed and the realities of channel migration which had broad ranging operational impacts. Since launch has set a new benchmark in visa selection experiences globally.

The book – Interactions Design - from Concept to Completion – written by Jamie Steane and Joyce Yee was in development for a number of years. We spoke to the authors about the scope and nature of the challenge and got involved following the research and design phases of the project. 

The Gateway project is featured as an exemplar in the service section, as an example of the challenges in digitising a government service. There is an acknowledged global trend where governments are becoming 'digital by default’. This project mitigated the regular pitfalls by challenging legacy service models, applying radical simplification, identifying user motivations, hiding complexity and engaging applicants throughout a journey using progressive disclosure and contextually rich content within unique, tailored user journeys.

In the guide, the project leads into the Services chapter, describing the project objective, the process - which is unpacked to explain the value of our research approach, demonstrate how we designed away from complexity - and ultimately the solution we delivered is detailed. The result is a revolutionary discovery experience for visa applicants.

The project has been recognised and awarded internationally - as a Webby Awards finalist in 2017, as a finalist in the IXD17 Awards in New York – at home in New Zealand, at the 2107 Best Design Awards, we picked up a Purple Pin (Best of category) in ‘User Experience’ and a Silver Pin in the ‘Best Effect’ category.

DNA’s interaction design lead Charlene Turei is interviewed and she comments that;

“The true size of the challenge only unfolded as we progressed through the detailed design and content”.

“Working on such a large and complex project made us realise how important it is to have a genuinely flexible and open approach [alongside our client and their team] in order to achieve the best value and outcome [for uses, and immigration New Zealand]”.

“The project highlighted the value in adopting a dynamic data model – which enabled us to deliver an experience that was more immersive, relevant and efficient for users”.

In the book, the Gateway project spans 16 pages which profile – from research through to launch – the inputs, decisions, challenges and investment made. We continue to develop, iterate and enhance the Gateway experience alongside Immigration New Zealand.