The Virtual Assistant: Designing a Supportive Online Service

TOAD Capstone Videos

Accessing government benefits can be a stressful process. It can be even more complicated when help is spread between in-person service centres and multiple web pages.

The Digital Experience and Client Data team at Service Canada brought in a team of Code for Canada Fellows to reimagine what delivering good benefits could look like. Team TOAD, or Totally On Board to Advance Digital, tackled the question: how can we create a supportive and humane experience for residents accessing digital services?

Through a speculative design sprint, Team Toad built and tested an interactive hologram to better understand what a really good virtual assistant could look like. Taking their learnings, Team Toad iteratively built a virtual assistant that can support residents through their Employment Insurance application process. The Virtual Assistant is able to intervene when needed to try to make the experience a little bit better, whether that's finding a missing document or just supplying additional information at a pivotal moment in the journey.

In this video, learn how Team Toad launched a prototype on Service Canada Labs for public testing and helped their government partners start to reimagine what a fully supported and excellent experience for people could look like online.