The Brief: Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) required an online marketplace platform that will list cloud services available to All of Government (AoG) organisations. This marketplace will be a one-stop shop for NZ government agencies needing the latest cloud based services to make it a more efficient and more cost effective to access of range of digital services.

The Brief

Streamlining the Process

The sign-up process required the user to enter in a large amount of information, so Somar designed an intuitive interface with clear user pathways and fully accessible forms to ensure maximum usability. Broken down into simple to complete steps, we helped guide the user through the marketplace with trust and confidence.

Resume at Anytime

Because the sign-up process required a lot of data to be added by the organisation, and often quite technical data which the administrator may need to gather externally, we created a system where the user can pause and then resume at a later time.

This was achieved by implementing a securely generated key for each submission that is emailed to the person doing the form. Using this link takes them straight back to their stage in the form, reliably and securely.

Because of the size of the form and the amount of data required, we broke the registration process down into logical steps, or sections which were clearly labelled along the top. It gave the user a clear sense of progression, but more importantly they act as 'save stops' for when they leave the form and come back to it at a later date. Each of these steps are dynamically created from the content added to the CMS, allowing the site administrator to have full control over customising the form.

Below are the designs for the progress bar on large glass / desktop (left); medium glass / tablet (middle); and small glass / mobile (right)

Progress Bar

NZ Government Compliant

Created prior to the launch of, Somar were given a loose set of guidelines to follow. However we ensured that the design of the Digital Marketplace platform adhered to the design system set in place for other similar NZ Government websites for consistency and accessibility. Despite the heavy form interactions, it is fully compliant to the Web Accessibility Standards for New Zealand Government, and works across all devices from desktop down to mobile phones.

Overcoming challenges

Every project has issues and roadblocks. Somar roll with the punches and learn from everything we do:

Design System Uncertainty

It was acknowledged by DIA that nearly all NZ Government websites are inconsistent and have few interconnected design components. Without a defined pattern library to adhere to, Somar researched other relevant NZ Government sites to ensure a consistent user experience from one site to the next.

Content Change Requests

In order to ensure that the digital Marketplace was fit for purpose, DIA shared work in progress with stakeholders and external suppliers. This user testing was essential for the UX of the project, however it required Somar to be flexible to accomodate instant changes to form fields and content so that DIA could fine tune the tool and re-rest in realtime. Our Agile methodology allowed for this, giving DIA the confidence to make any changes at any point in the project, whether mid-Sprint or even revisiting previous features.