Office of Public Prosecutions

Part of the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions’ role is to support victims and families in a way that aids them through the legal process. This experience wasn’t as smooth as they wanted it to be.
The Office of Public Prosecutions (Vic),  an independent statutory authority that prepares and conducts criminal prosecutions, were having issues with their digital presence was conveying information. It was leaving victims, witnesses & family struggling and confused.
Without the proper access to information, victims, witnesses & family were left struggling, feeling like they didn’t have strong support from the organisation. This experience needed to be humanised, so they felt like the Office could support them.
Part of this would include changing the way it framed information, to make it more accessible and user-friendly. The website’s structure and delivery of information was still reliant on legal jargon, a lexicon of words often unfamiliar to the average layperson who occasionally has to interact with the judicial system.
Calls received by staff from the public phone line were often distressing, with victims and their families expressing worry and social media was being used to vent those frustrations. The digital experience needed to provide that humanising experience and in turn, would improve the customer experience.
Using the site’s audit analytics and data from existing clients, Portable decided to change the user journey. By using data, interviews and journey mapping, Portable staff began to draw insights about the way users wanted information.
As a result we worked to address the following challenges:
Portable started by looking  at the content through different User Personas and using techniques drawn from information architecture to structure it. Our work focused on a series of design directions for a warm and humanising experience, making sure to avoid including images that could be considered triggering.
The next challenge was to align what the staff wanted to convey, with the content present on the website. We made sure to speak to staff who interacted with clients and users, analysed the data and based on those insights, we began to frame the taxonomy that would aid the user journey.
Once the design, the structure and content was determined, we took our work and tested it with users. This process needed to put our research to the test. Our user cohort included the people who were going to be utilising this information within courts, whether it be clients, families, victims or court users themselves. On a broad scale, we chose to survey citizens in Victoria on the information they wanted to know, when learning about the Office’s work.

Our method of delivery was purposely rapid. We wanted to deliver a user-centric and fully functional prototype, which could give OPP staff a way to test the site internally. So, working alongside a staff member from we put the site together in a one-day hackathon. 

During the hackthon, Portable rewrote content, repurposed for 50+ specific pages and applied the new visual overlay. We delivered this prototype to the Office and launched it internally. 

Finally, to add to the many moving parts of the project, this site was reviewed by OPP to make sure the content suited their needs and then beta-released to the broader audience. Our emphasis on a iteration-and-feedback loop denotes how much we value user engagement. This means of working also allows us to make changes where needed to improve the process and product.

The website was launched by the Attorney-General of Victoria in September 2017. It demonstrates our commitment to user-centric design and our ability to:

Produce data-driven and user-centric prototypes

Update and synchronise key content 

Identify key user groups and conduct user research and testing

Build data and analytical tools into the site, allowing OPP to better track their process

Create a user experience that is mobile first and responsive.
Our policy report is a statement on how tech and design can maximise opportunities for making the legal sector better.

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