Rethinking Digital Access

The Story

Cape York Partnership (CYP) is a non-profit organisation that works to empower Indigenous families and communities in and around Cape York. All CYP initiatives are co-designed with the people of Cape York so they can lead the changes that will make a difference to them.

In 2005 Noel Pearson developed the Cape York Agenda which formed the basis of CYP’s mission statement of ‘To enable members of the Cape York Indigenous community to have control and responsibility of their own lives without the reliance of welfare services.’

Many financial and community services are migrating to online platforms so it’s vital that people with lower digital literacy are not excluded.

With the key tenets of responsibility, opportunity and freedom, the mission of the Cape York Partnership is embodied through the Pama Platform. An Australian first, this digital platform is designed to build pathways for the Cape York Indigenous Australians in five key domains of Money Management, Education, Health, Home Ownership and Employment.

The Ask

‘Pama’, which translates to ‘my people’ aims to transform the lives of Indigenous Australians, making it an easily accessible digital platform that is functional, easy and helpful for everyone, no matter their age or digital learning. There were four challenges the Pama Platform needed to resolve for community users to further reduce the barriers to implementation.

Firstly, effective community communication allowing a comprehensive and accurate database of their users to mass communicate or contact individually. Secondly, development and access to digital money management resources making them accessible for everyone in the community. Third, the delivery of an online portal for users to access and manage their trust and opportunity accounts, allowing the development of money management skills. And lastly, consolidation of key personal documents to access when applying for jobs to avoid having to apply for replacement certificates or proof of identity.

Digital Focus
Pama Platform empowers over 250 users daily, enabling them to take control of their finances and thrive in a digital age.
User-Centric Approach
Kablamo used a human-centred design approach to put the user's needs first
Secure 3rd Party Banking Integration
Enabling Seamless Financial Management on the Pama Platform

The Challenges

The Kablamo design and development team spent considerable time with the Indigenous stakeholders and CYP team developing a granular understanding of the challenges which would be key due to the limited time and budget constraints on the project.

The three key design challenges were; low tech proficiency and digital literacy among users, tech limitations across a spectrum of user devices and bandwidth challenges due to the remote location, and the geographically remote location of the client exacerbated by Coronavirus border closures.

The team invested time creating a comprehensive toolkit and style geode at the beginning of the project. This focused on designing and developing core atoms and molecules in Figma and Storybook, which formed the backbone for all future interface design and development. This enabled Kablamo to build 14 comprehensive features, comprising over 250 UI screens within six months.

The Approach

The platform’s interface had to be highly malleable to provide a consistent user experience across a range of devices from supermarket phones to the latest iPhone. Because of the remoteness of the community there were bandwidth challenges that we overcame through step flows minimising the amount of content that had to load and creating a sense of progress.

Kablamo built the platform using AWS serverless technologies and an event driven architecture. Builds and deployments were fully automated with CodeBuild and CodePipeline, allowing updates to be made and pushed out in minutes. The core of the platform was managed by AWS Aurora Postgres DB with idempotent schemas, to make updates as simple as possible.

Using the SQS queues and AWS Lambda functions of that serverless event driven architecture, Kablamo was able to seamlessly and securely integrate with a third-party banking provider to handle all the financial information being used throughout the platform.

The Result

Online catchups and co-creation sessions with the CYP team through Zoom and Figma prototyping tools we set up user testing sessions that provided valuable insights through the life of the project. Designed for mobile and desktop, the Pama platform enables users to access all the features of the platform anytime, anywhere.

Launched in 2021, Pama includes 14 comprehensive features used by over 250 First Nations Australians daily, helping them take control of their money and participate and thrive in this digital age, at the same time providing guardrails that enable spending in a thoughtful way. Pama has become an invaluable community tool through its digital calendar, noticeboard, and services providers address book.

True to this project’s human-centred design approach, we think the best way to tell the story of how Kablamo helped Pama is through these videos we created. Short and easy to understand, this is Pama in action.

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