DNA are a 2017 Webby Awards finalist.

Webby 2017 snap


The Webbys are the gold-standard in digital and interaction design globally. We’ve won a Webby for ACC and had project work for clients including Icebreaker, Powershop, Tenancy Services and WellingtonNZ recognised as Honorees – we are delighted to be a finalist again this year. Only 5 entries in each category get nominated for a Webby Award and there are around 13,000 international entries for all award categories, so it's a big deal.

About the Visa Gateway project.

There’s never been a more popular time to consider moving to New Zealand. 

The Immigration New Zealand website, often the first step in the immigration process, received 12 million unique visitors in the past year. Over 32,000 unique visitors view the site on a daily basis alone.

For many migrants, the website serves as a gateway to New Zealand. Realising this, Immigration New Zealand set DNA a challenge: to create a cohesive user experience tailored to a myriad of different immigration needs – from students wanting visas, to overseas investors considering business opportunities. 

The requirements of the Immigration New Zealand site were intricate. Previously four websites had covered the various parts of the immigration process. It wasn’t possible for a potential immigrant to apply for a visa and plan their move in one place.

We undertook extensive user research to find out what visitors to the Immigration New Zealand site needed and wanted. 

51 interviews were completed with participants from various migrant segments and industry sectors. From the interviews, we were able to create six personas, current state journey maps, ideal service experience maps and 17 profiles.

These tools enabled both the client and our team to get a gauge on a user’s previous experience with Immigration New Zealand. It also helped us establish why they chose New Zealand and what they required during the immigration process.

The research proved invaluable. We were able to identify a new way to communicate with users, which transformed the traditional focus of the Immigration New Zealand experience.

Based on the research, Dwe realised the most effective way to communicate with users was to tap into their motivations. A data-model driven website was designed, where a user would arrive on the home page and be presented with the question: ‘I’d like to come to New Zealand to …’ They could choose from six possible answers: to visit, study, work, live permanently, join family or start a business or invest.

The research also revealed that migrants often went through a series of different visas, many of which proved to be unnecessary diversions from the ultimate goal of achieving residency. 

By simplifying the visa application process, migrants could save themselves both money and stress.

The results speak for themselves. Digital visa applications have increased over paper-based applications, and the call centre has experienced a drop in eligibility-related calls.  

10 months after the new experience launched, our work on the project was internationally recognised with a nomination at the 2017 Global Interaction Design Awards held in New York - the only project from the Australasia region to be nominated. 

The judges commended the depth of work on customer journeys that informed the business and the solution.

The success of the project reflected Immigration New Zealand’s commitment to getting it right. The project was larger in scope than was originally anticipated, but Immigration New Zealand realised the insights gathered from the research could completely change the immigration process for users – for the better.

It’s an example of a client getting on board with interaction design, and understanding it goes beyond usability testing – it can help us understand lives, define users’ goals and motivations.

We hope the Webby's judges will feel the same way.

What are the Webby’s?

Established in 1996 by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, the awards are seen as the global benchmark in digital excellence and innovation. 
This year, the 21st Annual Webby Awards received over 13,000 entries from almost all 50 US states and 65 other countries. With nearly 70 categories, website entries make up the majority of Webby Awards Winners, Nominees and Honorees. Some are seductive experiences which are beautiful to look at and interact with – others are a testament to usability and functionality. A handful excel across the board.