Lab+: Analysis of existing user research and needs

The Lab Plus team analysed all the user research across the NZ Government that we could get access to in order to understand any common threads, trends or inconsistencies worth exploring. We also looked for user needs and insights across this research as well as recent international reports. Below is a summary of the insights gained through a visualisation tool (Kumu) set up for the purpose of exploring.

Executive Summary

The following is a summary to support the analysis and visualisation produced using the research that has been collected as part of the Lab Plus project. There are two visualisations that are associated with this work.

It is important to note that both of these visualisations are starting points. They are not a complete picture of the landscape. As more information comes to surface, the picture will become more complete. You are welcome to add, challenge or change the relationships as you see fit.

One of the key criteria of these deliverables was that the analysis and findings had to be presented so that it could be shared publicly. We have elected to use Kumu.io as our visualisation tool because it gives a rich experience in understanding insights and relationships between services, and the links to the visualisations are available in the sections below.

Part 1: Becoming a 'senior' insights

The Becoming a 'senior' analysis is focused on user research about services for older New Zealanders who may be thinking about retirement, services, provides and the general attitude that comes with this milestone - as well as identifying clear pain points. The research came from multiple agencies. This stage of life, and the associated events is extremely complex and the visualisation represents the complexity.

Key insights

The key insights uncovered by this analysis are:

  • Turning 65 is not too much of a big deal in itself. It is just another birthday to a lot of people; not a lot changes overnight.
  • Therefore, this phase of life cannot be thought of as a linear event.
  • However, this phase of life can trigger a lot of events and interactions with both public and private services - which can be seen looking at the complexity of the Kumu visual.

User research

The feedback generated from user research is represented on the visualisation as a ‘speech bubbles’ with the pain points in red, and general insights in magenta.

A consolidation of the user research revealed that most of the feedback and pain points are associated with two main areas:

  • Being caught out by unexpected events (illness, natural disaster, death of a loved one) and not knowing who to turn to, and where to start
  • General comments about interacting with government services - being confused and concerned.

For more on pain points, see this 2015 blog post "Result 10: Measuring pain points in customer research".

Part 2: Overall insights on integrated public services

Another significant insight of the research collected as part of the Lab Plus work has been how people feel (in general, irrespective of phase of life) about integrated public services - in particular, about more information sharing and services becoming increasingly ‘digital'.

This analysis leverage multiple agency user research work but also relied heavily on three academic sources, themes also seen within the agency research. These primary sources are:

Not a complete picture. Like the previous visualisation above, it is crucial to note the importance for any reader/user of this information that this is not a complete picture of the landscape. This should be merely seen as a starting point, where, as more information comes to surface, the picture will become more complete.

How people feel and interact with increasingly digital governments can be grouped into loose themes as seen in the visualisation. In particular, this information can be looked into at from two different angles: from the lens of a citizen (and their current behaviour), as well as the government (the challenges faced and the changes required), and the overall impact of having a digital, integrated public services.

Many thanks to the Assurity team, who worked with us on this.


Lab+ is housed in the Service Innovation Lab, which is an experiment carried out under the leadership of the ICT Partnership Framework’s Service Innovation Group. It's managed by the Service Innovation Team in Department of Internal Affairs in partnership with Assurity Consulting.

Check out other blog posts about Lab+ and the Service Innovation Lab.

Follow us on Twitter at @NZLifeEvents.

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