Bushfire Recovery Victoria

Design Research, Service Design, Product Design, Customer Experience


Giving Victorian’s agency over their bushfire recovery journey


Symplicit was able to completely rethink and redesign what victim-centred bushfire recovery can look like. Future victims of bushfires will benefit from only having to tell their story once to efficiently get access to the help they need, which will help prevent reliving their trauma time and again.


Symplicit designed and tested a digital Citizen Recovery Portal. This portal aims to be a single point of contact for citizens, linking them directly with vital services, including mental health support, housing support, financial counselling, and practical things like applying for grants and filling out paperwork.  

The Citizen Recovery Portal will offer a streamlined citizen experience by leveraging Bushfire Recovery Victoria's (BRV) new digital capabilities resulting from a multiyear, state-of-the-art digital transformation program. As such, it will pave the way to a future without paper-based bureaucracy and ecosystem fragmentation.  

Once fully designed and built – and covering all the identified tasks – we are confident this portal will provide a more positive and streamlined experience for those affected by bushfires. Importantly, it will allow individuals and communities to take ownership of their story and journey; and, hopefully, experience a feeling of agency and control in an otherwise tumultuous season.


Taking a human-centred approach means first understanding the needs of bushfire-affected citizens and then designing a solution to align with those needs. We delivered this work in two phases:  

Phase 1 – Mapping the needs of affected citizens  
By mapping out affected citizens' journeys and typical behaviours, specifically around housing, mental health, and financial support, we could learn what the recovery journey looks like from a citizen's point of view. We then produced artefacts that captured these insights to enable BRV to design and deliver services around them.  

Phase 2 – Prototyping a future-state portal  
Building on the insights from the first phase, we worked with BRV frontline staff to define the highest priority tasks for bushfire-affected citizens and co-design improved multichannel service delivery. These outputs then informed the UX design of a citizen and community portal MVP. We also developed a citizen-led and data-informed product roadmap that will help BRV build out the portal's capabilities over the coming three years.  

A final critical component of this project was tackling the question of Customer Experience (CX) success metrics. How do we know if we have achieved an improved citizen experience without measuring it? To tackle this issue for BRV, we designed an experience measurement framework that would enable visibility of the current experience and help the organisation track the future state CX impact post portal deployment.


As always, our goal is to create a human-centred experience that considers the raw and emotional landscape of bushfire-affected citizens whilst meeting their distinct needs and improving their lived experiences in the future.