Human-centred design

Human-centred design is an approach to problem solving that puts the audience at the centre of the solution.

Whether you're writing content for a page or creating a whole new section on the website, you'll have an audience that reads and consumes your content. Therefore, it's important that you consider your audience at all times when you're creating web content.

Human-centered design helps ensure that what you're creating is useful and easy to use for your audience, and that it helps them achieve the goal — which is why they came to our website in the first place.

User research

The best way to understand what your audience needs is to ask them. User research is an important part of planning and creating content, and it can be done by conducting interviews, reviewing existing analytics, or even going through online forums or support channels the users may turn to.

Jobs to be Done

One of the techniques that can be used to describe what we find out about our audiences through user research is Jobs to be Done (JTBD).

JTBD approaches user research with the intention of understanding the user's underlying motivation for using a service or product — in this case, the product is your web content.

If you understand what goals or 'jobs' the audience (teachers, students, parents and carers) are trying to achieve, you can gain a deeper understanding of their needs. This can lead to more innovative thinking and better design.

If your content aligns to the JTBD of your audience, they are more likely to find it, use it and action it.

Case study: Parents and carers

Image: The department's parents and carers web section.

To ensure education.nsw content is useful to our parents and carers audience, we commissioned research to help us understand them better. The insights from this research have been turned into a JTBD framework under the overarching job of:

Help me best prepare my child for a rewarding life.

Here are the key jobs we identified for parents and carers, and how we've used them to form the basis for our content pillars:

Job 1: Choose and navigate the right educational setting for my child

Content pillar: Going to school

This content guides parents and carers through getting their child into the right school, moving into a new school year, financial obligations and school policies.

Visit our parents and carers Going to school section for this content.

Does your content fit into any of these sub jobs and activities for 'Going to school'? If so, it belongs in this content pillar.
Sub job: manage events
  • detention
  • suspension/expulsion
  • holiday care
  • parent teacher interview.

Sub job: preparing for school


  • care when parents are at work
  • high school
  • kindergarten
  • new school year
  • preschool
  • primary
  • school year budget
  • switching school.
Sub job: school life
  • absences
  • behaviour
  • extra scholar
  • lunch
  • pay contributions
  • transport
  • uniform.

Sub job: school selection enrolment


  • choose school to enrol
  • enrol my child
  • evaluate school suitability
  • identify school
  • identify specialised disability school
  • plan to start primary school
  • prepare admission test
  • request adequate support
  • seek admission.

Job 2: Support my child's learning and development

Content pillar: Learning

This content explains the curriculum, what's required for tests and exams, how parents can support their child academically and how this helps prepare their child for the future.

Visit our parents and carers Learning section for this content.

Does your content fit into any of these sub jobs and activities for 'Learning'? If so, it belongs in this content pillar.
Sub job: test exams
  • HSC
  • Naplan
  • Best Start
  • OC test
  • Selective Schools test.

Sub job: study support


  • homework
  • math and numeracy
  • english and literacy
  • foreign languages
  • other subjects
  • additional support.

Sub job: life skills support


  • digital citizenship
  • budgetary skills.
Sub job: orientation
  • career and study choices.

Sub job: learning monitor results


  • teacher feedback
  • school report
  • communicate with teachers.

Job 3: Increase my child's health and wellbeing

Content pillar: Wellbeing

This content provides advice and resources on bullying, safety, social and mental health challenges, and what proactive measures parents and carers can do and the resources they can access to support their child's health and happiness.

Visit our parents and carers Wellbeing section for this content.

Does your content fit into any of these sub jobs and activities for 'Wellbeing'? If so, it belongs in this content pillar.
Sub job: child support
  • bullying
  • online issues
  • mental health
  • social challenges
  • medical.

Sub job: proactive parent


  • mentally strong
  • online safety
  • healthy lunchbox
  • school food option
  • child safety
  • hygiene

Sub job: assessment

  • monitor wellbeing at school
  • monitor wellbeing at home.

Job 4: Prepare my child for life after school

Content pillar: Pathways after school

This content guides parents and carers through helping their child make the best study choices and best decisions for their life beyond school.

Visit our parents and carers Pathways after school section for this content.

Does your content fit into any of these sub jobs and activities for 'Careers and study'? If so, it belongs in this content pillar.

Sub job: subject selection

  • senior subject selection
  • optimise for hsc.

Sub job: work while at school


  • student job
  • work experience.

Sub job: pathways to work

  • after school class jobs
  • unemployment benefits.

Sub job: career advice


  • career choice
  • pathway to career.

Sub job: further study


  • university pathway
  • work study pathway
  • tertiary education.

Access the department's Parent and carers section.

REMEMBER: User research never stops. All further research conducted with parents and carers will continue to help evolve, shape, validate and fill gaps in the parents and carers JTBD framework.

Learn more

Explore human-centred design and the JTBD model as well as other education.nsw user research projects in the links below.

Return to top of page Back to top