Citizens Advice Bureau Website & Intranet

  • 2020

  • Digital
    Web Design and Development

Designed In:

New Zealand

The Citizens Advice Bureau’s new public website backed by a powerful knowledge base search, along with a full intranet for their 2,600 trained volunteers helps to make sure all New Zealanders know what their rights are and how to access the services they need no matter what the issue is.

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  • Due to digital services that were failing to meet the needs of an increasingly digital society, CAB came to Somar to completely overhaul their public website and intranet. The project consisted of three aspects: The Public Website: presenting over forty thousand knowledge base items to users quickly and accurately. Cabnet: rebuilding the intranet to help CAB volunteers to easily and efficiently manage their interactions with clients that visit the physical CAB locations. Reporting: using the millions of client interactions that are stored on Cabnet to generate powerful reports that can help influence the development of local and national social policy.

  • We began with a Design Sprint where we prototyped and tested potential solutions with the help of User Testing to give us insights and direction for both the public website and the intranet. From these insights, we designed and built a simple yet beautiful public-facing website that prioritises helping users find information quickly and seamlessly using these insights. We also discovered that CAB volunteers found the intranet slow and difficult to navigate. We completely overhauled the intranet dashboard to create a new system where client interviews are easily logged and data can be generated into reports at a moment’s notice.

  • Public Website: Post-deployment users have found the website far more user-friendly and they were able to find what they were looking for much faster. Intranet: The reaction of the CAB volunteers was overwhelmingly positive. In particular, they found it vastly more efficient than the old system as well as easy and intuitive for new volunteers to pick up. Reporting: With millions of client interactions and hundreds being added each day, CAB is able to generate powerful reports that could be used to help exert a responsible influence on the development of social policies and services, both locally and nationally.

  • Creating the right tone for the website: We wanted to make sure the website conveyed the right tone as well as being easy to use. We tested different illustrations to understand how users felt when navigating the website. Elastic Search: We implemented a smart search solution using Elastic Search technology which returns search suggestions and results within milliseconds. Intranet: The intranet dashboard allows control of restricted areas of content and CAB staff management for managers in an easy-to-use format without requiring a log in to the more complex website Content Management System backend. We also implemented a quick user-switcher login system built on top of the existing Silverstripe user system so that volunteers could simply log in when picking up a shift. Sophisticated Reporting Functionality: In order to handle the millions of interactions on Cabnet, we used Kibana software alongside Elastic Search to generate a wide range of reports as quickly as possible.