Project Overview

This project is all about helping Australians with one of the most complex, emotive and difficult decisions they’ll ever have to make. Planning for their aged care (or the care of their loved ones).

Getting old and losing the ability to do everyday tasks is not something anyone wants to think about. And many prefer to struggle independently for as long as possible. No-one wants to lose their independence. Many fear an aged care home is their only choice, and don’t understand the range of possibilities.

But with over 4 million Australians now over 65 and expected to live into their 80s, there are more people needing aged care than ever before.

This project needed to start a new conversation, where individuals and families could make sense of their options, understand what support is available and how to access it. To do that we needed to develop a new, human centred approach that transformed My Aged Care (myagedcare.gov.au) the Australian Government's gateway to aged care services.

Project Commissioner

Australian Government Department of Health

Project Creator

Liquid Interactive


Joining up information and services from over 2000 service providers and multiple government departments took the collaborative efforts of the Australian Government Department of Health, Liquid Interactive, Gaia Resources, Bastion Insights and many other specialists.

Project Brief

The My Aged Care website was a traditional government website that was failing to meet customer needs. The brief was to redesign the digital experience to better support older Australians and their families to live well and independently for longer.

The problem was multi-faceted. The aged care eco-system is complicated with thousands of different providers offering different services and charging different prices. Eligibility is based on needs, but what you get and how it works depends on the program you are eligible for. Making this easy to understand is a hard task.

Added to that we were dealing with an issue no-one wanted to talk about. And the target customers, older Australians over 70 had mixed levels of digital skills. The role of the website is to inform, guide and enable Australians through this journey.

Oh, just to add more complexity, we were undertaking this project against the backdrop of a Royal Commission into Aged Care and media reports of abuse. Building trust and confidence was going to be difficult, but we were ready for the challenge.

Project Need

Through a rigorous human-centred design process working with seniors and their families to understand their fears, needs, and motivations. This is a website that resets users’ expectations and assumptions about aged care, making it clear this is about more than just going to a nursing home. It gives users an overview of the landscape, but also allows them to drill down into (many!) complex details in a way that isn't overwhelming. It helps them assess their needs, compare services, and steps them through the aged care application process in a way that is humane, supportive and reassuring. Informed by ethnographic research and continual co-design, the project started by understanding customer needs and by developing a style and tone that balanced clarity and empathy. Next, we investigated pace - and what was the right information at the right time. The visual style was then developed and tested to complement the style and tone. Then the functionality and content was designed to create a consistent experience.
New functions include the ability for customers to check their eligibility and apply online for an assessment. This required careful design to ensure the process was accessible and equitable for all customers. Rather than implement a typical government application form the human-centred process, steps people simply and quickly through key progressive questions. Although we’ve redesigned the experience based on human behaviours, the back end seamlessly integrates with Departmental back end legacy systems. This is a government site meticulously designed for users.

User Experience

We never set out to pursue innovation directly, but we believe if you manage to solve a previously unsolved problem, then that is by definition innovative. We believe the kind of innovation demonstrated on My Aged Care is in using design thinking to take a complex and emotionally charged subject, and refactor it in a way that feels simple, supportive, intuitive and empowering. It merges the efficiencies of technology with compassionate design to take away friction and fear.

The innovation is in the simplicity. It’s the innovation that is inherent to the craft of good design.

The results have transformed the user experience. This is illustrated in the customer feedback quotes (supplied in images).

Project Marketing

This project has helped Australians feel empowered to make informed decisions about their care. It has helped change the national conversation about aged care, creating better outcomes, and rebuilding trust and transparency to address the issues surfaced in the media and Royal Commission.

It’s achieved it through in depth collaboration with 100s of seniors across Australia as well as key stakeholders across government and industry.

User feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with a measurably improved experience.

* 70% now find the information easy to understand and are clearer on what to do next.
* 77% intend to return and would recommend the site.
* 88% of customers are satisfied with eligibility checker and online application for an assessment - finding it easy to use.

Project Privacy

Being a government website, we have a rigorous approach to privacy and security, This includes regular security audits and penetration testing.

A plain language privacy statement can be found at https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/privacy

As part of our active security stance, we don't store private information on the website. Any information that is collected through an online process is immediately transferred through a secure web service to the Department’s back end systems.

In the development of this site we have actively developed and set up a secure architecture that allows us to receive, manipulate and display real-time customer information. This includes critical information about quality compliance issues in aged care homes from Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. Delivered in the background of a highly publicised Royal Commission in Aged Care, this is critical information that needs to be transferred and transformed quickly and accurately.

The provision of timely government services has been transformed as applications and sites are developed and implemented to either replace or complement previous methods. Be it the delivery of current and up to date critical information, compliance, community support and engagement, notification and registration or providing greater accessibility to government resources.
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