Australia Post

Changing how Australians prove their identity

Digital iD aims to change how the Australian public thinks, uses and manages their identity and privacy of those details – online or in person. They wanted to create a paradigm shift in how people proved their identity, remove all the hurdles around that process and make them feel protected and safe in those sensitive private moments.

Sector Verification

Industry Identity

Year 2016-2018

My role

I was the lead mobile designer for the app. I worked closely with product owners, researchers, solution architects, engineers and senior management. In addition to that, I was also in charge of mentoring and helping two other designers on the intricacies and patterns around mobile design. I was heavily involved in research activities from creating prototypes to support testing right down to helping researchers take notes and synthesise results.

Deliverables

  • Customer journeys
  • User flows & assets
  • Prototypes
  • Component kit
  • Mobile principles
  • Motion design

Activities

  • PI planning
  • Sprint planning
  • Design sprint sessions
  • Design critiques
  • User testing

Who we designed for

Digital native

Comfortable with digital only experiences and uses connected devices (e.g. Apple Watch). Defaults to online experiences and is increasingly trying to convert old systems to digital ones. Young enough that they want to do something different and take risks.

Many moving parts, one great experience

We wanted to move beyond the digitisation of paper forms. This was an app to help customers easily verify their identity. It had to be as easy as possible with the help of the tech at our disposal.

Building a solid foundation

We pursued an accessible form framework as a baseline to cater to a diverse audience, followed by scanning and chip reading to create a seamless verification experience. To make things as clear as possible with these complex flows, we delivered full flows covering happy and sad paths to ensure the right experience was developed.

Providing guidance

Part of the framework also involved ways for us to communicate with customers. We needed different ways to communicate with them and it had to work for all parts of the verification framework. As we grew, we ended up turning a lot of these into messaging patterns that we used to communicate with our customers.

Cherry on top

Lastly, we brought moments of delight at various touchpoints to make the overall experience a delightful one. Even though verification can at times be a dry subject, we managed to delight our customers at key moments and turn the entire experience into an amazing one.

Verify once, use everywhere

With our verification framework in place, we were ready to tackle one the biggest pain points, not having to reverify yourself time and time again — a huge pain point that our research pointed out.

A privacy first approach

Most identity services would share details directly with counterparts, which people didn’t like. We aimed to flip that concept on its head by simply notifying the counterparty that the details were verified – preserving the privacy of the user in the process.

Reusing your Digital iD online was simple — enter your mobile phone number on the website requesting your verified details and follow the prompts on your mobile.

Communicating complex concepts

Through testing we found that users weren't quite understanding the multi device bridge of start on computer, use phone to complete verification and return to task at hand. We tried several ideas, however the most successful was to visually show them that they needed to use their phone. This also solved another issue we had, which was relying on push notifications to prompt users.

Tailored verification

Businesses have different verification standards for the products or services they provide. Each have their own and constantly changing requirements of documents, photos and even at times face to face interactions to complete the verification.

UX 🤝 Engineering 🤝 Product

Working with our product & engineering teams, we brainstormed solutions together and ran testing sessions with our users. With our design system, we were able to iterate quickly and create prototypes that we could test with our customers.

Clarity prevails

In the end, the winner was a simple vertical step by step indicator that guided them throughout the entire process. Customers really liked knowing what documents were required, the number of steps involved and an indicator of where they were in the process.

In person verification

Based on our research, we learnt that one of the common pain points people encountered was forgetting their ID at home. They used their phone for everything including payments so it was natural to leave home without their wallet at times. Being able to prove themselves with their phone was important to them.

We introduced the idea of a verified profile, which through Australia Post’s unique relationships with government agencies, we were able to get legislated and accepted as a valid form of ID. This was key to the success of our product.

Early concepts

Paired with our researchers, we tested our several versions with users. Through conversation with them and mapping their experience, we uncovered the pain points they were facing with our solution.

Understanding feedback & mapping it back to our journey

Paired with our researchers, we tested our several versions with users. Through conversation with them and mapping their experience, we uncovered the pain points they were facing with our solution.

Learning from our mistakes

With the information we obtained, we brainstormed and sketched techniques of how we could articulate the value of a Digital iD profile.

We created near full interactive prototypes so that our customers could feel like they were interacting with a real app to ensure we got the best results with the least amount of researcher intervention as they used our product.

The breakthrough moment

The clearest option explaining how and where a Digital iD could be used was what users resonated with the most. We found that adding bits of achievements throughout the process helped reinforce a positive experience that fuelled completion.

Hot on the heels of our profile updates, we wanted to give both people and businesses the confidence to accept Digital iD in everyday moments — all they had to do was scan a their QR code or for simpler interactions, just tap their ID and the watermark in the background will animate.

In the first month of launching these updates we saw a 8% increase in customers completing their Digital iDs. That number kept on growing steadily over time – a truly rewarding experience and great team outcome!

Galvanising the team

Digital iD was managed as a startup within Australia Post. This gave us a lot of room to aggressively pursue ambitious deadlines. This meant that some things had to take a back seat as we were hurtling towards our launch. Soon after we launched, we kept on pursuing new features and progressing the product. Our style was evolving internally, but we were still bound by external agencies and enterprise red tape.

Out with the old, in with the new

Rallying my teammates together, I suggested a refresh internally, as we knew the brand really well and we were on the frontlines with knowledge of how the product was evolving and how the business wanted to grow the product.

Evolving the style through critiques

We tweaked the way we conducted our critiques, by introducing principles to guide us in this refresh exercise. Each week in our design critique, we slowly changed the look, feel and tone of the product. This was achieved with close collaboration from designers, illustrators, copywriters, product owners and developers.

Creating and maintaining a design system

As lead designer, I realised early on that, in order for us to achieve our ambitious launch date, we needed the ability to iterate on designs and prototypes quickly. In addition to that, as the team expanded, it was also critical that we maintained consistency and everyone was not only talking the same language, but also sharing, learning and using the same components.

Evolving the system together

A design system is a massive responsibility and also a big change to how things work and how designers mockup ideas and concepts. Initially, it was met with skepticism - no one likes change! My team mates were concerned with losing creativity, something that was a very important concern to me and to the business as well.

We developed a simple workflow to help everyone contribute and maintain the design system. Shared responsibility and ownership was important to us. I suggested that we split our design system into 3 groups that built on each other: a simple set of primitives to ensure consistency, a default set of components and finally a home team set of component that was unique to their subset of the product.

Each week at our design critique, new additions could be discussed and if everyone saw value in adding a pattern that was in a home team design system, it would be added to the default set of components. When that was pitched, everyone liked it as now the entire team was invested in maintaining and helping create a centralised source of truth, but also had the ability to be creative and contribute towards progressing the style of the product.