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How DNA and CERTNZ used design to keep people and businesses safe online

The numbers themselves are staggering. Cyber-crime cost the New Zealand an estimated $257 last year. About 83 percent – or more than four-in-five – New Zealanders have experienced a cyber-breach. But a staggering 61 percent did not change their online behaviour.

The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) – a New Zealand government-controlled organisation created to deal with cyber-threats – is keenly aware of this issue, too. But they had a problem: they needed something people would actually pay attention to – and something they could turn to for help.

Enter DNA – as in, the design agency.

DNA worked alongside the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to establish a new government agency that enables all New Zealanders to be alerted to, and able to report cyber security issues. The website was developed to make it easy for people to access the information they need alongside reporting tools, allowing CERT to react to threats that arise.

In other words, it’s a website with a public service mission.

The site itself is incredibly simple to navigate. Not only does it load quickly, but it features drop down menus, step-by-step instructions, and never overloads a visitor with too much information or imagery at one time. It achieves this by keeping both text and imagery to a minimum, making the overall experience as unintimidating as possible.

As the judges said, “This entry places the spotlight squarely on a real, urgent problem. The site’s progressive-disclosure model works brilliantly to guide the reader through, and the simplicity of layout works perfectly to bring clarity to its text-heavy content. Its sensitivity to typography and a strong understanding of hierarchy and content flow all contributed to this being the judges’ pick for the best interactive work in 2017.”

And that’s not all, either. “It is inspiring to see a brief taken to this level with a resulting outcome that is approachable, easy to consume, never overwhelming, and user focused above all else. Here’s to pushing the limits of not only government sites, but large-scale digital projects full stop.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Review overview