In 2004, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) decided to design and build an enterprise content management system to streamline its publishing process. The first attempt revealed the technology of the day was inadequate for the design of this complicated project. However, 12 years later the ATO now has a world class website which is shaped by daily user feedback and longitudinal unmoderated usability benchmarking.
This case concerns one of the earliest attempts by design thinkers at designing a large, complex system. It shows that design approaches in the public sector can look back at a long history. And it reveals how design thinking within the organization must include members of the whole organization in the design process.