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First Floor, 159 Victoria Pde
Collingwood, VIC 3066
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1300 727 952 
+61 3 9910 4099


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What is open design?

A design artefact is open if anyone is free to use, reuse and redistribute it. Importantly, this means open design elements are NOT subject to copyright and are NOT owned by one person/organisation/agency.

Open design

Open design takes the concept of open source technology and open data (both well-known movements) and applies it to digital design artefacts. It delivers many benefits and Salsa sees its huge potential for the open government movement.

Why open design?

There are many natural benefits from creating, co-creating and sharing design elements. These include:

  1. Save time, save money
  2. Improve shared designs to create better, more citizen-centric designs
  3. Give back to the government design community
  4. Connect communities, experts and promote collaboration
  5. Lower the barrier to innovation

Open design and open government

Open source content management systems (open CMS), open data, open platform and open design can help governments deliver on their open government targets. In fact, we consider these areas to be Salsa Digital’s four pillars for the delivery of open government. Our enthusiasm for open government (and its four pillars) comes down to one thing: lowering the barriers for government and public servants so they can focus on delivering services.

We see open design as a key future driver of the open government movement. For full details of Salsa’s open design vision, read our detailed blog on OpenDesign2020: A vision

Library resources

Shared designs could include resources such as:

  1. Citizen research and testing
  2. Personas
  3. Information architecture (IA)
  4. Journey maps
  5. Service blueprints
  6. Wireframes (low fidelity)
  7. Designs (high fidelity)
  8. UI design components
  9. Digital style guides
  10. Functional prototypes

Salsa’s open design services

Salsa offers a range of services around open design in Australia and specifically for government agencies. We can help you design, build, package and manage shared resources with:

1. Strategy and vision workshops
Helping you define who your clients or customers are, their real needs, and the opportunities to deliver better service experiences. We use proven human-centred design techniques to solve real problems.

2. Customer journey mapping
We help you map your end-to-end service delivery through different channels and service streams. For example, the process of obtaining and renewing your driver's license. We have a mature toolkit that helps you understand gaps and opportunities. Sometimes just mapping your end-to-end customer journeys can deliver immediate quick wins.

3. Persona development and needs identification
We help you develop personas (key characteristics, drivers, needs, etc. of your website users) that show you how people interact with your services and products. Our personas represent a cluster of service interactions and behaviours that together dynamically cover the entire service ecosystem.

4. Customer research
We are passionate about helping you discover the unique world of your customers and their needs. We apply learnings of qualitative data (thick data) as a lense to effectively view and make sense of quantitative analytical data (big data). This provides tactical insights and practical service improvements.

5. Experience design, co-design and service innovation
At this point we understand your service vision, we have worked through various lenses to understand your customers' experiences, we have talked to your customers, looked at all the data and we understand the problems and opportunities. Now we work with you to apply our cumulative wisdom and creativity to design delightful service and product solutions.

6. Low-fidelity and high-fidelity clickable prototyping
We believe in making it and breaking it early. Having tangible prototypes in our clients' hands gives them a realistic understanding of the product or service. Prototyping is key to good design development. It allows practical, real-life testing for all stakeholders. Clickable prototypes ensure a high level design testing and finessing before a single line of code has been written.

7. Design asset management and open design principles
Sharing is caring. The days of individual siloed government services and products are over. There’s no point reinventing the wheel when there’s an abundance of design knowledge and assets out there. We help you document design assets that can be shared at your will today or tomorrow. We help you set up a system to manage your design artefacts and digital assets.

Salsa provides a low-cost, high value-add customer journey mapping and persona development package to create immediate service improvement. All of the above services can be customised into packages to suit your unique service and product improvement goals. Simply fill out the contact form at the bottom of this page and we'll get back to you.


Case Studies

New visual design and site for Stay Smart Online

Salsa Digital was engaged to update the Stay Smart Online website’s look and feel and rebuild the site as an independent govCMS site.


New default design theme template for govCMS

Salsa Digital was engaged by the Australian Department of Finance to create a visually appealing govCMS design template that was flexible enough to meet the needs of many different agencies and, when customised, could give each govCMS site individual personality.



OpenDesign2020: A vision

The Australian Federal Government’s Open Government National Action Plan covers 15 commitments to deliver on open government. In Feb/March 2018 they sought public and industry input for the next plan (2018-2020). Salsa Digital presented OpenDesign2020 and our vision of creating and launching a new portal at, a place where governments can easily find, access and re-use government design artefacts.


Digital Transformation in Government Insight #57:
The GovCX Awards

The GovCX Awards are the first global awards that recognise great digital experiences for citizens. Congratulations to the winner, Denver’s pocketgov, and to the two finalists - Victoria’s Department of Premier and Cabinet and Portugal’s Administrative Modernisation Agency.


User research and govCMS viability

Salsa Digital recently partnered with Folk to run user research and take a look at how govCMS would work for the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA).


Getting to know your audience

User Research is an essential element of the design process, drawing on users’ backgrounds and behaviours to create the most user-centric design possible.


Get in touch

We help government agencies around Australia deliver on the open government movement and we’d love to chat to you about how open design can help your agency and the broader Australian public sector.  Use the form below or call us on 1300 727 952 to get in touch.

Contact us

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