Immigration New Zealand launches Visa Application Gateway.



A new Visa Application Gateway for New Zealand was released in May. Immigration New Zealand (INZ) have worked with DNA to deliver a user centred solution that will improve business outcomes and reduce the cost to serve, while radically improving the self-selection of visas for users. 

The Immigration New Zealand (INZ) Visa site is one of the most visited websites in New Zealand; it’s one of the largest Government agency websites, with over 32,000 unique visits each day and over 12 million visits in the past year alone. Visitors to the website come from across the world to apply for a visa or find out more about visiting New Zealand.

New Zealand had a complex visa system, with hundreds of visa options and types available, previously accessed via a large website which was very dense and difficult to navigate. Early user research highlighted that migrants struggled to sort through the many visa options and painlessly complete their application.

DNA’s challenge was to unpack the complex system of visas, and design a new experience that would allow a migrant to explore their options, compare visas and find a visa to apply for that best suited their situation and motivation for choosing to come to New Zealand. This challenge resulted in DNA completely rethinking how people discover information and move through levels of detail, shifting the complexity away from the user and onto the system that supports the experience. 

Alongside improving user experience and reducing complexity, lowering the cost to serve was a business driver for INZ. Call centre and branch cost in dealing with applicants confused by which option was best for them was high. 

Key to the development of the Gateway was ongoing user-testing and feedback. DNA conducted customer research to learn how customers need to see information. As a result, the majority of the content has been completely rewritten so it’s simpler, clearer to understand and provided in the most logical place for customers who visit the website.

Project snapshot:

  • Interaction over information – Design research clarified the opportunity for a radically simplified interaction
  • Improved user experience – Initial empathy work identified a model for self service, integrated within a more customer focussed experience
  • Simplicity and iteration – Prototyping and customer testing tuned content and the interaction model
  • Lower cost to serve – Improved selection will result in significant support cost reduction
  • Value leveraged – Design research insights and applicant motivations shared across the business 
  • Eliminating complexity – Shifting the complexity away from the user onto the system that supports the experience.