Special licence web page for Wellington City Council

Wellington City Council

Re-designing a conceptual special licence web-page for people who sell or supply alcohol at events.


Are you planning an event that sells or supplies alcohol? then you need to apply a special alcohol licence to obtain to Wellington City Council.
The Wellington City Council (WCC) website provides information on how to apply for a special licence for events held in Wellington.
WCC is looking at ways the information provided and application process can be improved to ensure that online applications are submitted correctly and applicants experience good customer service.


WCC internal staff identified that they receive poor quality applications through the errors people make on their applications and through research with service users.
This project addresses the following questions:
What are the pain points from a customer’s point of view?
What can be improved in the current state?
What could the future state look like?


This four-week project is about improving a current process from the customer’s perspective.
How might we improve the special licence application process for customers to help reduce the number of inadequate applications received by Wellington City Council?

My role

It was four member team, each member participated in all activities. though my focus was to develop facilitate user interviews and Low-fidelity prototype design for usability testing.
* This project was a part of UX master courses to solve the real problem that Wellington City Council had.


Initial desk research & Content audit

To understand the pain points of applying special licences, we needed to understand what special licence was first. We had initial desk research of
Alcohol licensing in New Zealand and what legislation requires
Special licences on other NZ council websites
Alcohol management in general
We also conducted a content audit of the special licence information on WCC’s website, and the application forms. Through this process we were better able to understand the information that applicants needed to provide during the application process, and where applicants might struggle.
As part of this exercise we also created flowcharts of the application form to understand where options existed depending on selected answers.

User interviews

We conducted six semi-structured interviews to learn more about people’s experiences with the application process.
The greatest difficulty first-time participants experienced was around pre-application information. It lacked clarity, and the amount of information was overwhelming. However, all information was required to display.
We concluded that we would focus on finding the optimum layout design to best display the pre-application information to understand it more straightforward.

Concepts & Usability Testing

We created three design concepts using the same information, but presented them differently to test with users and gather feedback on which layout people found the easiest to follow.
We used comparative usability testing method with nine people of different age ranges. We presented three ideas in order, let say Solution A, Solution B and Solution C, then asked questions about their overall understanding and attracting.

High Fidelity Prototype

Participants found Concept A (visual storyboard) and Concept C (vertical flow) easiest. Concept B (journey map) was the least popular, although some people commented that they liked the arrows.
We needed to consider some other points in making our final choice.
Which option would:
allow for more complex information to be displayed?
Be a better viewing experience on different devices, including mobile phones?
Least affect the loading time of web pages?
Be better suited for the type of information?
Be better suited for a wider audience?
Considering these points, we decided to choose Concept C, which provided a better fit and more flexibility for the special licence content.

Before & After

Left – Current Page | Right – Proposal Design


Many informative websites have similar problems when their users must get informed. This project has taught me about content design for behaviour changes. The user testing result was interesting, contents with graphics are always popular but not always the best solution for displaying information.
My recommendation for this project is to measure this page’s engagement rates and submitted applications’ quality. So we approve the improvements of decreasing individual customer support time.