Client: New Zealand Police | Platform: Web | Role: Experience Design Lead (UI/UX) | Year: 2018



ChatCops is a recruitment Questions and Answers platform where potential police candidates can ask questions about career, life or the recruitment process in the New Zealand Police.

These questions are then answered in a video format by a Police officer and then uploaded to the platform for the public to consume.

What we wanted to achieve


When we set out with ChatCops We wanted to create a unique platform that gave the New Zealand Police the ability to service and inform potential candidates in a way that no other government agency could.

We wanted to create something that was more human and spoke to the candidate as opposed to making them search endlessly through FAQ’s that lacked a voice.

Live stream questions workflow from the original prototype.

Who we designed for


ChatCops was designed around 4 key customer groups;

Potenital candidates
New Zealanders that are considering starting a career in the police but still have questions about what a career with them is like.

Family & Friends
Those that are close to the candidates who may have concerns and questions about what a career in police maybe like for their family member or friend.

Maori and Pasifika candidates
As part of a wider business goal to increase the amount of diverse applications in the police force.

Curious incidentals
Those that have a general interest in police and could perhaps be turned into a candidate through consuming the content on the platform.

Initial concept for the “Question a cop” flow. This would feature information about the officer as we wanted to test wether giving this information would influence a candidates likelihood of asking a particular officer a question over another.

After the initial round of testing and discussion with the team at police we went about simplifying the question flow down. Instead of a user asking a particular officer they would instead identify the topic of their question, then whomever was moderating the questions would disperse that question to an officer who would be an SME on the topic.

After testing version 2 of the flow we found that candidates wanted the questions flow to be something that would need to be something that could be triggered at anytime when on the site, as any effort to action this flow would like deter them from asking a question. Knowing this we went about a new concept of having the questions flow be handled via a dialog box that could be triggered anytime from the header section on the site. This concept resonated much better with candidates due to how quickly they could action a question. This concept was carried through to development, however it was pulled near the end due to resourcing issues around answering questions.

How we designed, tested and built


During the initial phase of the project was spent researching the existing motivations, perceptions and pain points that candidates & their families go through during the recruitment process this was done through discovery based interviews.

After the initial round of interviews we were able to identify these key-points;

Real people talking to their questions, nothing scripted.

Keeping it human
The platform would need to speak to me and come from someone that I can identify with.

Easily consumed
Keep things short and sweet, I don’t want to have to watch a video and then research further.

Knowing these things we were then able to start prototyping several versions of the platform these varied from a live stream concept in which users could select and officer who would be on the platform at that time to answer questions through to a more traditional Q&A experience in which a user could send a question and get a tailored answer.

User testing summary document from round 2 of testing.

Further development of the live stream concept, this was later cut from the final build due to resourcing issues. This concept would feature a recruitment push that would regularly appear in the chat feed.


These prototypes were then taking to another round of testing in which the participants involved interacted with the prototypes to see what concept that preferred.

Unsurprisingly to us people loved the livestream concept and the idea of being able to interact and ask questions to an officer in the moment. However due to some project restrictions we had to pivot from this concept and explore a concept that was mix of the Live video meets traditional Q&A.

This final concept focused on giving candidates the ability to ask text questions to a nominated officer and then that officer would record a response to that question, this response would then be uploaded to the platform. This was then taking out for one last round of test to validate this new flow and we found mostly positive results to it even though the live element had been removed the presence of actual officers answering questions still generated that level of authenticity that candidates & their families were after.

Following this round of testing we then moved through to the design phase of the project which progressed rapidly so that the platform could be available for the public at the same time as the campaign launch.

Implemented designs for an “Answered question”.

How it all ended up


The initial launch of ChatCops saw significant traffic with 4.5k visitors and over 15,000 views across the first set of videos.

While the success of the platform is a great outcome, the major positive was the resulting positive shift in perception of a career in the police which has come through the authentic conversation approach.

Campaign video that promoted ChatCops during the recruitment push of 2018.