Fresh From The Field — Citizens Advice Bureau Website and Intranet By Somar Digital

7 months ago by

The new, easy-to-use CAB website was refreshed by Somar digital, with a focus on modernising it, whilst also improving the user journey but maintaining the knowledgeable and trusted advice that kiwis have come to rely on.

Want to submit your own work to Fresh From The Field? Fill out the FFTF form here.

The brief:
The project brief consisted of three aspects:

  • The Public Website: presenting over forty thousand knowledge base items to users quickly and accurately.
  • Cabnet: rebuilding the intranet to help CAB volunteers easily and efficiently manage their interactions with clients that visit the physical CAB locations.
  • Reporting: using the millions of client interactions that are stored on Cabnet to generate powerful reports that can help influence the development of local and national social policy.


The challenge for this project was to update CAB’s digital services in order for them to remain at the forefront of helping New Zealanders. In this regard, the project has been a great success with not only increasing the number of people that use the public website but maintaining a level of trust that New Zealanders have with CAB as an essential service.

The Design Response:
Somar Digital utilized the Silverstripe CMS to its fullest potential to bring this highly complex and multi-tiered solution to the Citizens Advice Bureau. As a Not-for-Profit, CAB’s digital offerings are free to anyone who wants to use the website in order to understand their rights, or who just want to find some information about any issues they are having specific to New Zealand.

CAB traveled across NZ to get volunteers up to speed with the new system and get any feedback. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Volunteers noted that it was a “quantum leap forward” and a “dream to use compared with the old Cabnet.” Overall, volunteers found the new Cabnet “clear, logical, and easy to use.”

CAB worked with Somar Digital again to deliver the Aratohu Tenant Advocacy website. The website, which is a comprehensive online resource that provides support and guidance to tenants and their advocates, again utilizes the Silverstripe CMS and is a continuation of the UX and overall design and usability found in CAB’s main website.


The Design Team:

The Client Team:


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