SmartStart is designed to alleviate the pain and frustration of having to deal with multiple government agencies during the stress and excitement of impending parenthood. Making it easy to navigate the maze of government services and entitlements for birth and beyond – like finding a midwife, adjusting welfare payments, applying for parental leave etc.

Led by DIA the SmartStart project required four prominent government agencies to work together, with the support of Plunket and the NZ College of Midwives, to deliver a parenthood ‘one stop shop’ in a single, responsive application.

– makes it easy for parents to control which agencies can access their personal information,
– establishes baby’s future digital relationship with government,
– is a useful resource for those working with expectant parents,
– brings together information from disparate agencies to offer a clear and holistic guide through pregnancy and parenthood.

SmartStart presents information in a timeline broken up into phases of pregnancy and the early months of parenthood. Organised in this way a user can jump to the phase most relevant to them and get integrated information – e.g. health advice, financial guidance – applicable to where they’re at. Users can also enter their due date to make the timeline more personal and can check off and save important tasks on a to-do list.

A warm illustrated style was developed to match the content – an approach validated by government agencies, users and cultural advisors. Mums from within the team fed into the various illustration concepts to produce universal moments in the pregnancy and early parenthood journey – that first moment of skin to skin contact, siblings meeting the new addition, baby’s first bath etc.

Response to SmartStart has been overwhelmingly positive with parents telling us they love its ease of use and utility – with many experienced parents saying they wished it had been around sooner. Within the first month alone 15,000 people used SmartStart and it is gaining international recognition for being one of the first government services of its kind – designed around users and their lives.

SmartStart won a Silver Pin in the Public Good category of the Designers Institute of New Zealand Best Design Awards 2017.

SmartStart won a Silver Pin in the Public Good category of the Designers Institute of New Zealand Best Design Awards 2017.
Department of Internal Affairs (DIA)