Designing systems and teams for a better experience for schools.


Department of Education (DOE) accelerated their teams through leading the first customer-focused accelerator to reforming the School’s website service. Working with schools and parents to transform 2200 school websites to a single unified platform in record time. A success that permanently embedded the agile design process.

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  • The challenge DOE’s approach to digital experience was characterised by ageing digital assets, manual and paper-based processes, with 2200+ school websites across a variety of platforms. While digital transformation was on the agenda, it was going slowly and becoming more urgent. The brief: Create a repeatable agile design process for the team. Then demonstrate and embed this process by tackling one of the most pressing and large scale issues: The school’s website experience, which needed - New student-lead design system - Complete re-platform - Reduction in time to release new school websites

  • “Team Acceleration Process”. - Fortnightly design and collaboration cadence - Presentation and communication training - Weekly testing with a diverse range of school and student users - Rapid data-based prototyping - Together the process was used to create parent / primary caregiver, children, and educators informed "Schools website services, design system" - Design principles - Global Experience Language. - School templates - Streamlined template creation process Resulting in DOE teams rapidly adopting new ways of working. Speeding up time to market and greatly increasing the quality of outputs.

  • The design system and accelerated teams has led to: For Schools and students: - NSW schools websites have seen a 100% increase in engagement since the re-design. (A third of NSW residents interact with the sites) - Uptake from schools for the platform was at 95%, - Time it takes to provide schools with a website went from 4 weeks to around 4 days. For DOE - Successfully embedded design process that has gone on to affect many other initiatives. Social impact: - After the transformation Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation reported public perception from the quality of education from public schools was higher.

  • Features for parents Design system Increased transparency of policies and decisions. The ability to look at catchment areas to determine where you were eligible to enrol. Lead to the creation of Assisted School Travel Program supporting students with “different” needs For schools A design system that allowed personalised templates for each school. Syndication of important alerts (eg: bushfires, floods, COVID-19) allowed for a safer consistently informed school environment. For DOE - Smaller cross-functional integrated teams that could implement faster. Which leads to less reliance (and expense) on external contractors. - Calls to schools and administration time dropped significantly as parents could access personalised information.