Design awards 2017: Best in show

Updated with winner: The Best Effect Award, the business category in the Designers Institute's annual awards, recognises products or services for their return on investment as well as aesthetics. 

The Best Effect Award, the business category in the Designers Institute’s annual Best Design Awards 2017, recognises products or services for their return on investment as well as aesthetics. The three finalists for the October 6 event are:

Immigration New Zealand website by DNA
The purpose was to simplify the visa selection and application process, and support attracting the best talent to New Zealand. This required self-service and online application conversion rates to reduce call centre costs. The website has no shortage of users, receiving 12 million unique visitors in the past year and more than 32,000 unique visitors each day.

DNA’s research included interviewing 51 emigres from whom they created 17 distinct user profiles and six personas, as well as corresponding journey maps of the process. This simplifies the process to a maximum of eight visa options relevant to an individual’s situation out of the 140 possible.

Digital applications have increased over paper-based from 9% to 45% while the call centre has experienced a drop in calls relating to questions about what visa to apply for. Online profile creation is up 52%, usage of the skills shortage checker is up 161% and traffic to the study and work section is up an incredible 13,000%.

Immigration NZ built a business case around value to the user, organisation and country while the project also highlighted the value of using a dynamic data-driven design.

Credits: Creative director: Stacey Orr. Design team: Zakary Kinnaird,  Idris Corap, Charlene Turei, Julian Thomson, Tony Watson, Jim Perry, Georgy Malanichev, John Milmine and Andy Dover

The Co-operative Bank digital programme by Alphero
After formally registering as a bank and rebranding from PSIS, the Co-operative Bank needed to achieve growth and diversify its customer base from a traditionally older demographic. Continually adding new branches was cost intensive and slow, so Alphero was brought in to lead a wholly digital transformation to a mobile-based operation.  

The bank re-allocated its new branch capital expenditure to the 36-month project. This meant a significant shift in the organisation’s mindset about what was important to customers and it required taking on some risks to differentiate the brand in the market. 

The new programme included new concepts such as allowing customers to personalise their accounts by uploading their own images. Users of the app are also able to view their balances before they log into a full bank session, allowing for ease of access in situations like the checkout queue. New customers can sign up in minutes using the app, with no need to visit a branch. Full compliance requirements such as identity verification are built into the process.

Co-op is now well into the value phase. It is acquiring customers and increasing its share of the customer’s wallet by transitioning from a secondary bank to a main bank. Previously, customers averaged 1.2 products each but are now averaging 3.4. Nearly half of new product sign-ups are digital, with the major proportion of that being via mobile. The Co-operative brand has significantly boosted its market awareness and other banks have started monitoring its innovative approach and design thinking.

Credits: Creative director: Michal Hempel. Design directors: Quan-Lin Sim and  Emma Taylor. Design team: Maia Visnovsky and  Corinne Bowie

Air New Zealand in association with Designworks, Thoughtfull and True WINNER
Air New Zealand has comprehensively overhauled the design and strategy of its brand over the past decade. This is evident in its suite of innovative ventures such as the award-winning Economy Skycouch™, mobile app and aircraft liveries. The process has led to a culture shift internally that required significant collaboration in a number of business areas and with agency partners.

New products and services include a $100 million lounge refurbishment programme; Airband™ which uses a wireless chip to provide updates to guardians of children travelling alone; an artificial intelligence-backed chatbot named Oscar; and a coffee ordering function on the mobile app that allows customers to order coffee at the touch of a button in certain lounges.  These have contributed to record customer experience satisfaction scores.

The 75th anniversary showcased exhibitions at the Te Papa, Auckland War Memorial and Canterbury museums. These featured the first venture into virtual reality with an interactive element designed to show what the future inflight experience could look like. The design philosophy has touched all areas of the business, using tools and frameworks to create customer journey profiling, employee experience programmes and significant investment in design processes.

Earlier this year Air New Zealand announced its second-highest result in its history with earnings before taxation of $527 million. It is top of Colmar Brunton’s Corporate Reputation Index as well as AMR’s 2017 Corporate Reputation Index in both New Zealand and Australia. The airline was also named Australasia’s Leading Airline for the ninth year in a row at the World Travel Awards and the Global Airline of the Year for the fourth year running by Airlineratings.com.

Credits: Design directors: Sarah Cowan, Jef Wong, Geoff Suvalko and Craig Pethybridge

Disclosure: NBR Editor at Large Nevil Gibson was a judge of the Best Effect Award

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