Staff Directory Redesign


Global Directory is a popular internal application used by approx. 10,000 staff at the Ministry of Social Development and Oranga Tamariki. The application is used as a staff directory where users can search for people, offices and places for contact details throughout their agencies.

The challenge we faced was that the application was built 20 years ago and has not been updated since, giving a poor usability experience for our users, not responsive and a dated look.


We have a wide range of users that use the site very differently from our National Office, Call Centres and Service Centres, so we had to ensure this site would be usable and inclusive of all target groups. We also wanted to ensure this site would meet the NZ Government Accessibility standards.

I began by observing our different target groups use the current site so I could understand the most popular user flows and followed this by creating personas to represent all of our different users. I realised users could be doing things much faster with advanced filters, however none of them knew these existed or where to find them. I also worked closely with the Business Analyst on the project to understand all the requirements from his prior research.

*Please note - some images have been blurred for privacy reasons.


In the early stages there was myself and another designer assigned to the project. We worked together to come up with low fidelity wireframes and conducted user testing sessions with all of our target groups to validate the new designs were inclusive and usable. I took design lead during the end of our wireframing phase when the senior designer got pulled onto other work. I continued with iterating and improving based on our usability testing feedback.

Once I was happy with the low fidelity wireframes and gained approval from our stakeholders, I began work on high fidelity mockups. I wanted to keep the UI very simple as there is a lot of information displayed on the site. I kept the branding neutral as this site is used by multiple Ministries, and ensured that all colour contrasts were accessible for our low vision users. I created a prototype with Adobe XD so I could test and easily send out to people. I also created a style guide for the developers to follow and have been working closely with them to ensure we achieve a successful new instance of Global Directory.

I have continued to validate the usability at every build milestone with specific task based testing, giving no guidance and observing how our target groups respond.

Prototype link:

This project is still in the build process so I am not able to provide final site screenshots at this point.