Case Study

An honest day's work

A human-centred approach and digital transformation to improve access to justice for all workers.
Content audit and migration
Content writing
Full stack development
Experience design (UX/UI)
Service mapping
User research and testing

The roster

The Fair Work Commission supports productive workplace relations. They set the national minimum wage and when there’s uncertainty or conflict in the workplace, they act as a referee. They create a level playing field for workers and businesses, helping to settle disagreements and disputes for everyone.

The Fair Work Commission partnered with Hide and Seek to replace their website and reposition them as a service that improves access to justice.

The website is a large, complex and critical channel which delivers useful information about workplace rights and conditions, minimum wages, enterprise agreements and legislation.

Working side-by-side as a multi-disciplinary team, Hide and Seek and the Fair Work Commission used a government-approved Service Design and Delivery process to make sure the future-state site addressed user pain points while taking advantage of opportunities for improvement.

This approach covers user research, user experience design, content design, writing, technical architecture, development, and content migration. We applied this thinking to a project roadmap and rolled-out a refreshed website for workers from all walks of life.


The game plan

The Commission’s audience is, technically, all of us. From unions to industry groups and individuals across the country, the reach of the Commission is far and wide.

To gain a deeper understanding and create buy-in for a shift that caters for both sophisticated and unsophisticated users, we engaged with stakeholders across the Commission.

After 19+ hours of stakeholder interviews, subject-matter experts felt heard, sharing their support for a fundamental shift in the Commission’s future digital presence.

We used the insights and data analytics from these sessions to help identify groups with unique attributes, then we crafted further research activities to test on a range of different audience groups. With the combined knowledge of their experiences, we gained a granular understanding of the issues faced by each group.


Working our magic

The Fair Work Commission needed a human touch. Luckily, we’re as human as they come.

Together we transformed their UI to inform and delight, while functioning smoothly for humans of all abilities and experiences.

Aligned with a new visual design, which our design team also revamped, we evolved the Fair Work Commission’s UI away from the corporate, towards something more modern, minimal and mellow. We banished deep scrolls in favour of succinct pages informed by actual user stories.

Content was a big factor in this transformation. We crushed duplication, distilled important messaging and revised language with consideration for the reader. We revised content to meet a standardised readability level to ensure that everyone (especially folks that speak multiple languages or use English as a second language) can connect the dots, find what they need and understand the information provided.

Employment is important to everyone, including people of different abilities. So we made sure the site was readable not just for humans, but for scanners and screen readers that help make our lives easier. Accessibility was lifted across the site to meet WCAG standards globally, curbing the need to call or contact the Fair Work Commission manually.


Technically speaking

The Fair Work Commission’s website was originally developed in 2009 – and several major things have happened since then.

During our platform audit, we found that the original site was built on a system nearing end-of-life. The site was interconnected to a wider collection. Without any further updates and bug fixes on the horizon, it was clear that the website needed to migrate over to a more robust system (Drupal 9) for longevity.

As a website that serves over a million legal documents, and multiple applications we knew that search would play a critical role in the overall user experience. So, we incorporated Elasticsearch in our solution to serve top-level results, and we worked alongside the Commission’s Data team to link an Azure Cognitive Search capability directly from the site.


A job well done

The new website was designed to help users see the Fair Work Commission as a service. Interestingly, it has helped the Commission develop a better view of who they serve on a day-to-day basis.

With a better understanding of their users’ pain points, the Fair Work Commission’s website is now better-placed to serve – and already delivers better structure, flow and information architecture than before. Pages are crafted with user-experience in mind, with journeys simplified through plain outcome-oriented language. Intuitive design and integrations make search functional, so users can find the forms they need in a way that’s mobile-friendly and easy to read.