Victorian Ombudsman


  • Today
  • Victorian Ombudsman


The Victorian Ombudsman (VO) plays a vital role in ensuring our public services stay accountable. Victorian citizens are increasingly demanding that digital public services are as easy-to-use as those delivered by the private sector. It was time for dramatic change.

When public services fall short, there is a lot of stress, anxiety and mistrust, especially for the more vulnerable members of the Victorian public. Today had the opportunity to deliver a redesigned digital service to support a sector-leading service experience where complaints are transformed into change.

Key Features


We took the time to understand the users needs and designed a simple and elegant service in response to our research findings. Our testing focused on the process of making a complaint, language and tone of voice, understanding what the VO has the power to do, and what resources are required for a user to feel confident using the service.

People feel comfortable when they understand what the VO can and cannot help them with. In our solution, navigating and finding an answer is simple and the Victorian Ombudsman is able to deliver the high-quality service they care deeply about.


“If you’re nervous about making a complaint in the first place, waiting for an outcome is bloody stressful.” —User testing

“The unknown is the worst.” —User testing

Using co-design, we were able to ensure that the final result captured the needs and desires of the Victorian public and ensured the Victorian Ombudsman were providing a world-class service. We worked shoulder-to-shoulder with public servants and citizens to design a solution that delivers the right level of communication and ensures people feel informed, up to date and at ease throughout the complaint process.


Easing ambiguity for the Victorian public was essential for the success of this project once it was launched. Users valued the feeling of power in a situation that can feel ambiguous and where power is perceived to be imbalanced.

The project required a comprehensive and deeply considered design approach—the VO receives a high volume of very different and quite sensitive enquiries; and also needs to offer a helpful service to visitors whose complaints don’t qualify for their consideration. The solution efficiently manages enquiries at scale, triages elegantly, and frees up time to manage the right enquiries in the right way.


Through co-design workshops we mapped the emotions of audience types against their journey and identified areas of opportunity. The workshops enabled us to estimate the positive impact possible by improving the experience.

Each iteration of the website was subject to user-testing, involving members of the general public and public service. This iterative approach enabled us to swiftly make improvements and arrive at a final design with high confidence.

The new site is leading in bold design for ombudsman across Australia; incorporating gender, age and race neutral illustrations for inclusion of all people who may engage with their services.


\”Our new website will mean Victorians quickly get through to the organisation that can help them. Working with Today, we set clear goals from the outset, prioritising reducing ambiguity for our users. There was a real sense of partnership. Today took the time to understand our users\’ needs and our organisational context. In return, we were able to benefit from their expertise and up-to-date industry knowledge.

We are thrilled with our modern, elegant, warm and clear website. It will make it so much easier for Victorians to access and understand our services.\”

Ainslie Gowan, Communications and Media Manager, VO

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