• 2016

  • Digital
    Web Design and Development

Designed By:

Smartraveller is the Australian Government’s comprehensive resource for Australians travelling overseas. Best practice web design, graphic design and highly-polished front-end development unite to present a carefully crafted experience that ‘gets out of the way’ of the user. We’ve used design as a tool to help Australians travel smarter.

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  • We redesigned the entire Smartraveller experience around a user need for clarity and scannability. Clear visual cues draw the user's attention to key information, increasing focus and clarity. We used bold colours to highlight travel ratings, helping users quickly and easily understand threat levels in any destination. We used images sparingly and selected system fonts to make sure poor internet access (particularly in remote destinations) would not impact the site's usability or the speed at which users could access content. Despite these limitations we were still able to use a combination of striking block colour and strong typographic treatments to create a site that is beautiful as well as functional.

  • Travel can throw up a lot of surprises, so it was important that the site be robust enough to work under a variety of conditions and on a variety of devices. The responsive typographic system ensures that the site will be just as readable on a desktop computer in an overseas internet cafe as it is on your iPhone in Australia. From patchy connections to outrageous roaming charges accessing the internet overseas can be a headache. When you're in trouble, as many visitors are when visiting the site overseas, you need the right information fast. The use of minimal imagery and system fonts means that the site will load quickly without omitting any key information, even for users with reduced internet access.

  • The Smartraveller site unique in its minimal approach to designing for the public service. We purposefully chose to 'under design' the site - extraneous details or features that were 'clever' for the sake of it undermine usability and efficiency. The 'I need help' wizard exemplifies our minimal approach, using a series of straightforward questions to guide users through a decision tree. Decisions around navigation become difficult under stress, and reducing the number of decision points to the absolute minimum helps users reach emergency information as fast as possible.

  • The content on the Smartraveller site was strong, but it was undermined by complex information architecture. In reworking the content structure we created a site that is radically simple and easy to use. We identified the core functionality of the site and used it to inform a mobile-first design. This allowed us to create a simple information architecture structure which prioritised easy access to actionable information. The quality of the build was essential to the success of the website. The site integrates with an existing CMS to allow the Smartraveller team to manage their own content. The final site meets WCAG accessibility standards and is responsive, ensuring compatibility with a range of devices.

    Helping Australians travel safely presents many cost-benefits to the Australian Government. In the case of international safety, preventing issues before they arise reduces the burden on the public purse. Smartraveller reduces the likelihood of Australians finding themselves in danger overseas by allowing them to evaluate (and prepare for) travel risks before they go. Further, the ability to issue travel advice in crisis situations reduces pressures on other support systems which are more costly to both the user and the government. The site eases the burden on consulates by providing clear and concise information directly to citizens.