The govt.nz Beta User Experience

Get Involved, We Need Your Input

Here’s your chance to get a sneak peek at the designs for the govt.nz beta site. If you’ve got 5 to 10 minutes to spare, take a look at the preview and tell us what you think. Your feedback will help us improve the beta site.

When the beta goes live, it won’t be a finished site, the feedback we get will help us prioritise design fixes and new features. We will progressively add new features and content to the beta, and once everything is ready, the govt.nz beta will replace newzealand.govt.nz

Online research —have your say about the beta designs

Over the next couple of months we’ll be doing a variety of online research using online survey tools. The beta site isn’t ready to launch as a working site yet, so the research will use screenshots instead. We’ll add to this list as research tasks are created, so check back here every now and then.

A note about accessibility

Our first design principle says “We’re user centred”—the needs of users are always the first thing we consider.

One of the limitations of this type of research is that it assumes users aren’t vision impaired, and that they can easily use a mouse. We acknowledge that the surveys listed below aren’t going to be accessible to all users.

After we’ve launched the beta site we’ll be running another series of usability research sessions. We’ll be actively collecting feedback from users of the beta site, and we’ll probably do more online research too. We will specifically include users with a variety of disabilities in that wider research to help ensure the site is as accessible as possible.

Links to research surveys
Status Survey description
OPEN Which version do you prefer?
Coming soon Is our content easy to read?
Coming soon What would you change?
Closed A sneak peek at the govt.nz beta design.
280 people completed this survey. Thanks for your input.

Who can participate in the research?

Anyone who wants to take part can do so. At this stage of the beta project we need input from a wide range of people. Later on we will target specific types of users to make sure we get feedback from users that have special requirements.

Before you start, here’s some things you need to know

When you take part in the research:

  • you need a computer with an Internet connection
  • the link to each research activity will take you to an online test hosted by Usabilla.com—this software isn’t hosted by the Department of Internal Affairs
  • you don’t need to sign in or create a user account, you can complete the survey without giving us any personal information—we will ask you some basic questions like your age group, gender and how often you use the Internet.

After you’ve completed all the questions:

  • you won’t be able to take that survey again—but if there are other tests open and linked from this page, then you can complete more tests, if you have time (and that’s something we’d really appreciate)
  • we get access to your answers, both where you clicked on the screen to indicate your answer and any comments you added to your answers.

Your feedback is important to us

The design team will be looking at the data we’re collecting every day to monitor how well the research is running, what comments people are leaving and if anything pops up that needs immediate attention.

After we’ve finished running the research activities in July we’re going to turn the data into a research report and we’ll publish the report and a blog post on the Web Toolkit.

As work on the beta site continues, we’ll be taking the feedback you give us and making decisions about changes we want to make to the site. Some of these changes will be high priority, others we might decide to do a little later on. We’re starting small, and iterating over time.

Keep an eye out for future blog posts where we'll some of the interesting things we learn while getting the beta site ready for it's full launch.

Contact Us About The Research

If you have any questions about the research, if you experience any problems completing any of the surveys, or if you’d like more information about the beta project, leave a comment or contact us by email:

The govt.nz beta project
Government Information Services
Department of Internal Affairs
Email: online@dia.govt.nz

Now that you’ve had a sneak peek, is there something about the beta you really like? Leave a comment and tell us what you think.

4 comments

  1. Comment #1. George:

    Great work team! Good to see this sort of thing being done.

  2. Comment #2. Nathan Wall

    Thanks George. In under a week, we’ve had nearly 200 people take a look at the design concepts and give us feedback. A number of people said we should take a look at the layout of a couple of our pages, and that the homepage design still needed some work. I got the team in a huddle and we’ve already taken that feedback on-board and changed a couple of our templates. The timing was spot-on, we were just about to start building them, so this will save us 1 iteration of changes in the future.

  3. Comment #3. Dave:

    The font is so large it hurts.

    Looks like a pretty standard template

  4. Comment #4. Nathan Wall

    Hi Dave, thanks for the feedback. We haven’t decided on the font stack we want to use when the site goes live, quite a few people said the font we’ve used on the design mockups could be better.

    We’re thinking we should choose a font created by a NZ designer too. Once we’ve selected a font, we’ll adjust the overall layout to suit.

    There’ll be other design updates and more chances for people to give us feedback over the coming weeks.

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