Drive brings the process of getting your New Zealand driver’s licence into the digital age with a focus on making drivers safer on the road.


Drive is a project about behaviour change. We didn’t want to just help drivers pass tests but to learn what it means to be a good kiwi driver.

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Why we did it

Drive is a project from NZTA and ACC, two New Zealand government agencies. The aim of the project was to modernise the experience of learning to drive while focussing on creating ‘good kiwi drivers’. The current licence tests focus on knowledge of the road code and technical driving ability, but there’s much more to being a good driver than that. The challenge was balancing this extra content with users who are looking for the fastest, easiest way to pass their tests.

Drive was designed around the two personas of Matt and Dan. Matt and Dan represented the area were we could do the most good; typical young male drivers, around 17–19 years old. These are the kids that are heavily over-represented in crash statistics. Everything we did on Drive had to pass our litmus test of ‘would Matt and Dan use this?’.

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Drive was a project that offered many opportunities for me to delve into areas outside of pure visual design.

My part in the project

I joined the Drive project as a visual designer when there was just a folder of persona research. Working with other designers we built a base of visual research, helped establish the brand and designed the Drive website. The website was a massive project and included digitising the entire NZ road code. I was part of the the concept phase where we assessed how we’d meet the learning objectives. After that I worked with Users in creating wireframes and running user-testing sessions and co-design workshops. Finally my main task was creating finished designs and seeing them through development.

By phase two I was working as the sole visual designer as well as stepping into the main UX role on the project. This gave me control over the direction of the new work, taking it from concept all the way through to development and testing. The biggest piece for phase two was a new dashboard for logged in users. I was able to work not only the visual structure and look of all the components but also created the logic that made the dashboard dynamic and personal to the user’s journey through the licensing process.

How we made it.

So what was the magic stuff that got us through this project? One important element was that everyone was invested in Drive’s success. We had a client that was eager to be involved in the process and were able to use their subject matter expertise to challenge our solutions. The full production team was also involved throughout the process so everyone understood how we reached our solutions. This personal investment meant that those ideas and solutions were rigorously interrogated.

How we worked also played a role. Drive was the first Agile project I’d worked on. Its structure helped ensure by the end of the first phase we had something viable to stand up. Even if that meant it was just a serviceable stool instead of a half-finished throne. We also reviewed the process fortnightly to identify what was a challenge and how we could remedy it.