Our work with Government clients

We have five areas of specialty that are useful for government departments seeking research partners:

  1. Financial services expertise and knowledge - financial advice, financial literacy, insurance, investment, superannuation, and retirement policies and practices
  2. Research with people in vulnerable situations, such as people with a disability, the aged population, victims of crime.
  3. User testing for written language and information, especially for complex and technical topics
  4. Customer journeys for complex situations such as victims of crime and people claiming compensation
  5. Stakeholder surveys - we have conducted these for ASIC, the Productivity Commission, and Treasury

User testing for complex or technical material

One of the most difficult tasks for anyone in a large organisation is knowing how to communicate complex or technical material to the general public. We see this all the time and empathise.  When you are writing about legal processes, you must use precise language.  We get that. The problem is that members of the general public may not understand it, so in the end you have not achieved your aim.

We live in a world that relies increasingly on digital information, where users typically access that information on their own. Writers often write the copy isolated form the people most likely to read it.  As a result, they often have to rely on their own intuitions about users will understand or already know. In turn, many of our clients over-estimate the ability of their customers to understand.

If you think of the information and resources that you give to you customers as simply 'information' to be delivered like a parcel, you will miss the key idea. People use and explore these resources actively, and in their own way.

Remember: the precise language and terminology that is specific to your department or agency may be ambiguous or confusing to someone else.

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Stakeholder surveys - understanding the challenges

We have conducted Stakeholder surveys for ASIC, Treasury and the Productivity Commission.

Stakeholder research is unique and has some demanding requirements, that we understand.

The challenges peculiar to stakeholder surveys are that:

  • Different stakeholders relate and interact differently with the organisation.
  • Some stakeholders may be more important to the organisation than others.
  • Some may want different outcomes. It is not unusual for one stakeholder type - customers say -  to want lower prices, compared with another stakeholder type - such as shareholders - who hope for higher profitability.
  • Some stakeholder segments are much easier to research than others, because we have better lists or there are more of them, or they are more accessible, for example.

The must do's

We have found it is essential to:

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Policy Case Study: direct life insurance

How consumers buy direct life insurance

https://asic.gov.au/regulatory-resources/find-a-document/reports/rep-588-consumers-experiences-with-the-sale-of-direct-life-insurance/

Our report for ASIC describes how consumers decide to buy direct life insurance and how they decide how and what to buy. Our sense-making approach to research revealed how some consumers struggle with their experience. These products are complex so consumer understanding of their features is often poor.

Here is an extract:

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