Case study: Relocating a Housing Service Centre

The Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy led a research and design project triggered by the need for the Fortitude Valley Housing Service Centre (HSC) to relocate. While the primary scope focussed on the physical space and customer experience of the HSC, the design process allowed for a broader understanding of the customers journey, stakeholders, and employees.


The project used a human-centred design (HCD) process where current and potential housing clients, stakeholders and staff were engaged in a six-week design sprint, involving a number of in-depth interviews, observations, workshops, centre visits, and analysis of secondary research.

View larger image The project wall showing current state journey map research with customers. Enlarge image


With clear pain points and opportunities identified, a 3-hour workshop with staff, stakeholders and service providers was run to generate ideas and solutions to answer these opportunities. From the ideas generated 38 key concepts were created.

View larger image Staff member using pen and paper to draw a design concept. Enlarge image
View larger image Housing and Homelessness future state journey map. It gives a high-level overview of the new features to be made available within a physical housing centre, developed from concepts generated by housing staff and project team. Enlarge image

Testing and prototyping

Over two days the project team tested, and prototyped various aspects of the concepts generated during the ideation workshop with staff and customers at the Fortitude Valley HSC.

Visual maps were used to create a vision of what the future might be for the centre, staff and clients. During five one-hour sessions staff were walked through these maps and asked to comment and critique what was important to them to ensure it was captured and addressed.

View larger image Four staff members standing in front of a wall reviewing a journey map with post it notes on it. Enlarge image

For a full working day on a Friday, the project team deployed prototypes within the Fortitude Valley HSC in both the front of house and back of house. Clients and staff engagement and use of these prototypes was documented, and feedback was gathered

View larger image Fortitude Valley HSC, where prototypes were deployed. Visible prototypes include a water cooler, children’s toys, and a sign informing the reader of free wi-fi. Enlarge image


A range of concepts were implemented in the new Fortitude Valley HSC site with favourable reactions from both customers and staff. The insights gathered from this project have since been implemented in HSC locations around Queensland and five new Housing and Homelessness Hubs, including initial locations of Toowoomba and Townsville.