Human-Centred Designer



Passionate Improver | Storyteller | Big Thinker

I’m Gina, a service designer from New Zealand with a background in the arts, media, corporate and public sector organisations.

I hold a Masters in Service Design (Politecnico di Milano). My happy place is helping to design experiences or services from the place where strategy, creativity, emotion, research and innovation intersect. And doing that collaboratively with people who are passionate about positive impact .

I’ve been fortunate over the last 14 years as a consultant to work with some innovative people and organisations and to have had exposure to a wide variety of industries and topics; from entrepreneurs and global diplomacy to Start-Ups, Banking, Retail, Open Data, Charities, Energy, Education, Financial Services, Justice, Health, Tax, Transport and Social Welfare reform. As part of my Masters, I was also fortunate to experience IDEO Munich where I could immerse myself in the practice of leading global design agency.

I love getting stuck into strategy and taking a big picture view of things to ensure that single projects or pieces of work can leverage other solutions or address multiple challenges over time. A good example of this was my work as Lead Strategic Designer for the National Australia Bank in Melbourne.

When I'm not improving or innovating around processes, systems or experiences, I love making red wine, snowboarding and improving my Italiano.


Journey Mapping | User Research | Interviews
Actors' Maps | Personas | Ideation | Insight Generation
Co-creation Workshops | Business Model Canvas
Storytelling | Service Blueprints | Concept Design
Story Boards | Copywriting | Prototyping | Field Research
Workshop Facilitation | Organisational Design
Senior Stakeholder Engagement
Employee Experience


Healthcare | Arts | Retail | Justice | Finance | Education

Digital - Physical - Omni Channel

  • Nationwide Process Redesign | Proof of Identity | Public Sector


    Industry / Topic: Public Sector
    Project Title: Proof of Identity
    Host / Client: Inland Revenue Department, New Zealand
    Design Brief: Historically an Inland Revenue tax number was extremely easy to get as it only allowed holders to pay tax. Over time however, it became to be used by citizens as ‘proof of identity’ (for example, being used as proof of eligibility to work legally in New Zealand).  A transformation project was initiated to change the application and verification processes required to receive an Inland Revenue number to ensure that this document could act as ‘proof of identity’ for holders. The amount of stakeholders affected by this project was numerous and as the system for applying for a tax number had not changed in over 30 years, there were many perception challenges to overcome in a short space of time.
    Team:  Gina Garvey (Corporate Communications Design, Stakeholder Management, Engagement strategy design), Project Lead, Business Analysts x2, Administrator
    Delivered Solution:   The Proof of Identity project successfully implemented a systemic service design change nationwide. The redesigned process can be viewed here.
    My Roles:Scope, develop, design and prototype all the required public facing communication strategies, approaches and collateral to support this project.
    Process Highlights:
    I scoped all stakeholders potentially affected by the upcoming change and prepared an actors map.  I undertook several qualitative interviews with Subject Matter Experts as to the impacts, risks, opportunities presented by the project and drafted a comprehensive stakeholder engagement strategy including a phased approach, third party endorsers and key messages. Socialised the strategy through several iterations with feedback from stakeholders (including other government departments) before getting signatories to the strategy for implementation. 


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    Nationwide Process Redesign | Proof of Identity | Public Sector
  • Global Organisational Change | ReDesign | Public Sector

    changeorgredesignIndustry / Topic: Organisational Design |  Global Change Project
    Host / Client: New Zealand Ministry (Client Confidential)
    Design Brief:   The brief was to propose and design an internal communications and change plan for scoping, designing and testing an organisation wide change programme that focussed on a global restructure of satellite offices including significant change to many roles.  


    My Role:  Advising senior leaders and project owners across the organisation on internal communications relating to a large global organisational change programme comprised of multiple and interdependent projects in a climate of high media and public interest. Developing and executing internal /change communication plans on behalf of business, programme and project owners.  Assisted with user-testing of prototype designs across time zones and countries.  Planned all-staff meetings and briefed attending leaders, wrote wide-ranging collateral across all channels including announcements, media responses, briefings, and staff FAQs which were published on the intranet ‘home’ for the project, I created and managed. Intense and constant liaison with programme team leaders, project managers, HR representatives, Union representatives, Principal CEO advisors, media team, suppliers (such as career guidance and change coaches).

    DSCN9046     groupchange


    Global Organisational Change | ReDesign | Public Sector
  • Open Data | Charities | Data Mash

    Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 10.05.17 PMIndustry / Topic: Open Data | Public Sector | Charities New Zealand
    Host / Client: Charities New Zealand | Department of Internal Affairs
    Project led by:  Project led by Paul Stone, NZ.
    My Role:  My role as a senior communications designer and advisor included developing a stakeholder engagement plan (for both internal and external stakeholders) through the scoping, build and implementation of the project. Generating visual material for launch, engaging and briefing suppliers for audio-visual material collateral. Preparing full range of print collateral for launch activities. Targeted engagement with private and public sector stakeholders to generate interest in the project; establishing ongoing relationships on behalf of the Commission and project team. Internal liaison with senior managers, CE and Ministers office including preparation of briefing materials.

    Design Brief

    The Charities Commission registers New Zealand charities and collects their annual returns which are searchable by members of the public.  Charities were one of the first New Zealand government agencies to consider opening up their API to software developers so that this useful information could be made to be more accessible and used in a wider variety of ways, by the public.

    Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 10.15.36 PM

    Delivered Solution:   The Open Data project for Charities New Zealand successfully implemented to international recognition. The result can be read about here.

    Process Highlights: Researching global practices for public sector Open Data, using overseas examples and best practice to turn ‘opening an API’ into meaningful stories that could engage and inspire staff, governance representatives and IT stakeholders. We also engaged local Open Data lobby groups by inviting them in to discuss an early prototype. I drafted and designed all communications collateral for all audiences.



    Open Data | Charities | Data Mash
  • Health | Reducing Hospital Medication Errors

    Industry / Topic: Health | Hospital Medication Errors

    Project Title: Future Therapy

    Host / Client: National Hospital within the EU | Client Confidential

    Design Brief: How might improving an existing design or developing a new one help nurses in the future to overcome the limitations in the interaction, usability and management of the therapy using the therapy trolley, when preparing and administering therapies?

    Delivered Solution:   Juvo and Juvo Junior – new hospital trolleys and a new patient-focussed drug and patient management eco-system.

    Team:  Gina Garvey, Christina Sadek, Fryza Pavitta P, Piti Pravichpaibul

    My Role:  My role covered all of the design process but I give special credit to my two team mates for storyboarding and drawings that brought our sketches and post it notes of JUVO and Juvo Jnr trolleys to life!

    Process Highlights: This project was extensive in the range of design tools we used; observational and analagous research, problem definition uncovered the most basic functional problems (current hospital trolleys are too wide to fit through doors into patient’s rooms) to ‘back stage’ problems such as patient record systems, team handover meetings on the ward and visitor behaviour. We quickly prototyped several concepts (including vacuum based tubing to deliver individualised medicine direct to patient rooms) and tested with the client.

    We quickly discovered that designing a new trolley would not address medication errors alone, but that we needed to design an end to end ecosystem ensuring all touchpoints of medication, patient records, nurses’ station and patient experience were considered. It was important that less effort not more, would be required to reduce medication errors and that a system could be flexible and sustainable into the future.

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    Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at 2.57.32 PMScreen Shot 2016-07-30 at 2.57.25 PM



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    Service Design

    Analagous research – airplane trolleys



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    Health | Reducing Hospital Medication Errors
  • New Service Innovation | Health | Diabetes

    Project Title: Talk to MeKINpllusICONs
    Design Brief: Using human-centered, iterative and hands-on approaches, design a conversation-based service/s to improve the management of (Type II) diabetes. Original research and prototype testing with real users required.
    Industry / Topic: 
    Health | Diabetes Management
    Host / Client: 
    Politecnico di Milano | Masters Programme led by Dario Buzzini
    Gina Garvey, Laila Simonovsky, Idoia Teran Suberbiola, Elisa Mombrini, Mon Plukpitakkul, Satam Sagar
    My Role:  Research planning, ideation, customer journey blueprint, final pitch writing.

    Delivered Solution

    Diabetes ecosystem

    The ‘KIN’ ecosystem alleviates the shock patients feel after Type II Diabetes diagnosis enabling them to more quickly understand, accept and begin making positive changes through ongoing personal and empathetic support.

    Process / Highlights:

    We initiated global desk research to dive deep into the subject area and inform what questions we wanted to ask users about their experiences. Based on our findings, we created survey questions and simultaneously distributed an online survey while commencing face to face user interviews.

    Our user research took us from Argentina to New Zealand, Italy, Turkey; surveys, face to face and emails got us results in 48 hours.

    statistics of survey (1)   service design research

    The insights we uncovered from our research formed the foundation of our ideation phase. We quickly narrowed down two ideas to develop into prototypes for user testing.

    Users were very enthusiastic about the concepts and their questions helped us iterate to the final model:  “KIN”. This included developing a fully fleshed out service ‘backstage’ and ‘front stage’ blueprint and journey map for future users, developing a logo and a simple website for the final presentation which was a pitch to investors for start up funding.

    Design REsearch      DSC_0026


    Getting potential research subjects on board early enabled us to progress at speed. Not having clearly defined roles and responsibilities at the beginning of the project slowed the process down. Working out a back stage and front stage process map in detail, even though it was not needed for project deliverables, helped ensure our assumptions and proposal had integrity, were feasible and we could answer detailed audience questions with confidence.

    Service Blueprint

    To ensure our team fully understood the complexity of the design, we fully developed the service journey for back stage (business) and front stage (customer).


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    New Service Innovation | Health | Diabetes
  • Food | Retail Experience Redesign

    IMG_4562Industry / Topic: Food | Retail
    Host / Client: National Food Consortium Chain (Client Confidential) & Politecnico di Milano | Masters Programme
    Team: Gina Garvey, Daniela Duran, Erica Invernizzi, Maria Matloub, Piti Pravichpaibul.
    My Role: User and competitor research, ideation and brainstorms, eco-system concept and sketches and first prototypes, co-presenter.


    Design Brief

    Use human-centred design tools and approaches to develop a historic private-label food brand throughout a national consortia of community-based supermarkets.

    IMG_4826 IMG_4821

    Delivered Solution

    A strategic continual ecosystem of customer and staff engagement, storytelling and product improvement that creates and enabling meaningful connections between customers and private-label manufacturer and store owners.

    IMG_5081 IMG_5085


    Process Highlights


    Our research phase comprised global and national desk research, analogous research and was then followed by user interviews in-store with five main competitors.

    The final research component comprised of shadowing consumers in-store, documenting customer behaviour and face to face in-situ interviews about the brand.




    We determined a mis-match between the definition of ‘value’ and ‘quality’ between consumers and the proud food manufacturers.

    We proposed exploiting this interaction opportunity by creating numerous new touchpoints for consumers to provide hard and soft feedback on products and easy mechanisms for the brand owner to gather, analyse and test improvements, before taking them to market with a visual identifier on improved products reflecting the voice of the customer matters in tangible and direct ways back to consumers.

    Food | Retail Experience Redesign
  • Digital Tool | Reducing Family Violence | Public Sector

    Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 08.40.18Industry / Topic:   Reducing Family Violence | Public Sector
    Host / Client:   New Zealand Ministry Multiple Agency Approach: Stronger Response to Family Violence
    Context:   New Zealand has the highest reported rate of intimate partner violence in the developed world, with around more than 100,000 incidents a year being reported to Police –around one every five minutes.

    Nearly half of all homicides and reported violent crimes in New Zealand are family violence-related.  This ‘wicked problem‘ in New Zealand is highly emotional, complex, and many years of research and work has already gone into to trying to find a solution. The Justice Minister proposed that one lever which could help address this problem would be to review the outdated legislation that aims to protect victims and bring perpetrators to account.


    Design Brief

    Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 8.48.41 PMMy brief was to propose and design a consultation method for national and public consultation on outdated legislation relating to family violence. The aim was to  stimulate public engagement and debate on what parts of the legislation should change. Previous consultations had been limited to .pdf documents posted on the department’s website.

    My Role: Sitting within the Policy team, I researched global best practice in citizen engagement across all channels.  After synthesizing the findings and testing several optional prototypes, I proposed several options with a single preferred option.

    To quickly test this option which involved a new digital and cloud based platform, I convened a cross section workshop with over 20 internal business representatives to talk directly with the global service provider.  This quickly uncovered potential barriers and simultaneously created an informal working group which could progress design choices. I provided communication design advice to the Policy team on framing the consultation document in Plain English and advocated using infographics and illustrations to assist citizen engagement as well as drafting case studies based on research.

    I managed the initial procurement engagement, wrote briefing and recommendation papers along with a complete implementation and engagement plan which included requesting the many academic, judicial, NGO, lobby groups deeply connected to the issue could assist in engagement by utilising their own networks of affected stakeholders.

    Delivered Solution

    Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 08.44.41       Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 08.43.38

    Although my brief was to recommend an engagement tool for this single project, by using an iterative and collaborative approach, I was able to secure and implement a new, safe, scalable and reusable cloud-based platform that could be used for any further public consultation or engagement exercises, that met the strictest security and privacy requirements (especially designed to allow current and former victims to be able to give their views).

    The digital platform was more accurate for capturing feedback and analysing it in real time. Equally significantly, the new platform enabled fast, easy, safe and accessible engagement for citizens on issues they care about, enabling their voice to be heard. Improvements to strengthen the legislation in New Zealand that aims to reduce the occurrence of family violence and hold perpetrators to account is currently in progress.


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    As at September 2016, New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key announced that new (anti) Family Violence laws will come into place in 2017.


    Digital Tool | Reducing Family Violence | Public Sector
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Putting the people who use, consume, require, depend upon services or products at the centre of redesign and innovation.


Systems and enterprise design linking strategic direction with awesome human experiences.

service design

Within a broader HCD context, I bring a tasty picnic hamper full of tools, methods, approaches and mindsets to improve or redesign service interactions, touchpoints, processes and end-to-end experiences.


Let me introduce you to Serena who loves gnocchi, disco dancing and yarn-bombing. She works three jobs, has two kids and looks after her 95 yr old Mum who lives with them. As well as being quite tired and super busy, Serena is frustrated with your service despite her (and your) best efforts.

The thing is, if you and I spent some time with Serena and her family, not only could we improve the service - but we might uncover an unarticulated need that could become your next product or service offering.



What is your organisation's biggest, hairiest challenge right now?

I'd love to chat about that with you.

Please get in touch; to talk BHP (Big Hairy Problems) or to ask about Human Centred Design or about how to make red wine.