Defence Housing Australia

Solving three problems in one design

Client: Defence Housing Australia

Agency: McCANN


The challenge for DHA (Defence Housing Australia) is three fold; First and formost they need to cater to the needs of their members by provide good housing for their men and women in the armed forces. Secondly, to be able to supply housing, DHA need to develop new, good quality, residential areas at a competitive price. Thirdly, they need to sell these properties to investors to finance the whole operation. The design challenge was to create a web platform to solve all three business challenges.

My responsibilities

  • Discovery workshops
  • User and stakeholder interviews
  • Design strategy
  • IA, sitemap, tree testing
  • Wireframing
  • Prototyping and user testing

IA & Sitemaps

DHA sitemap 2.pdf
Dev Sitemap.pdf

Despite the big numer of pages in the site I wanted the IA to be flat with a max of three levels of navigating. In order to make the site easer to navigate on mobile devices. And for SEO reasons I went with a pillar page site architecture supported by topic clusters. Sitemaps designed using Sketch, Slickplan and user tested with Treejack .

Playback and workshop at DHA head office in Canberra

I ran a series of workshops with the team form DHA to make sure that we understood all of their business challenges so we could address them in the design.


DHA is a big site with a lot of different areas to cover and special functionality and widgets that needed to be custom designed. Obviously does a lot of the traffic come from mobile devices and therefor responsive design was very important.

Prototype testing "Property search"

DHA Property Search Test

MAZE was used to do the online user testing. Above is an illustration of "Interactive property map"-widget