Improving content on Canada.ca

Small changes make a big difference.

Sometimes the words we use, and how we organize them, can make it hard for people to find and understand Government of Canada information and services on Canada.ca. The TBS Digital Transformation Office is working on projects with federal departments to make it easier.

For each project, we co-create prototypes, set concrete usability targets, and run usability tests with Canadians. We ask questions Canadians have about specific Government of Canada services. For a prototype to launch, it must make it at least 20% easier for people to get the right answer.

Considering the high numbers of visits to in-demand pages, such an increase in task success rates is significant. Ultimately it means people spend less time looking for the answers they need from the Government of Canada.

Projects with our partners


  • 2021
  • 2020

    Orientation and wayfinding

    Partner departments

    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Veterans Affairs Canada and Statistics Canada

    Objective

    All government departments are adopting the Canada.ca look. The design needs to adapt to their needs. We explored navigation and design options to help people get to and use the services they need, while maintaining confidence and trust in Canada.ca.

    Why this work matters

    • Finding and using services delivered by different government departments should be simple, consistent and accessible to all Canadians
    • People need to be able to clearly recognize official government information and services to avoid deceptive and fraudulent sites
    Task success before Task success after Improvement to task success
    50% To come Footnote1 To come. Part 1: breadcrumb changed from ‘Home’ to ‘Canada.ca’

    Task scenarios tested and improved

    • Your cousin from France won't need a visa to come visit but will need an electronic Travel Authorization. How much will it cost to apply? Start on a Google results page with links to Canada.ca URLS and to other sites
    • Your Egyptian friend wants to come to a Canadian university this year. How much will it cost to apply for a study permit? Start on a Canada.ca Immigration Refugees and Citizenship page
    • Yen applied for a permanent resident card and needs to find out if it has been mailed yet. Find a page where she can enter her user ID and password to get into her Immigration account. Start on Canada.ca Immigration Refugees and Citizenship page
    • You finished researching some ideas for next farming season. Now you need to find out if there is a special way to hire temporary seasonal farm workers from Mexico. Start on a Canada.ca page
    • Your friend is going to start growing wheat this spring in Saskatchewan. Is there crop insurance available there? Start on an Agriculture Canada site page
    • That friend wants to understand the market for organic wheat outside Canada. Are there any 2019 reports with a trade overview and consumption trends that might help them? Start on an Agriculture Canada site page
    • Nour is an injured veteran working out her family budget. How much can they expect to receive if her spouse Pat is recognized as her daily caregiver? Start on a Veterans Affairs site page.
    • Like all Canadian parents, Pat and Nour also get monthly Canada Child Benefit payments for their 15 year old son. Will they still get payments next month when he turns 16? Start on a Veterans Affairs site page.
    • Nour just switched to a new bank. Is it possible for her to change her bank info online somehow for her veterans payments, or would she have to call? Start on a Veterans Affairs site page.
    • You searched and found these soybean reports but now you need recent numbers. Find estimated soybean production for 2019 in Canada. Start on a Statistics Canada site page.
    • You have a voice message from someone claiming to be a Statistics Canada interviewer. They say your household was selected to complete the Labour Force Survey. Find the special number for survey participants to call so you can check if it's a real survey. Start on a Statistics Canada site page.
    • Zak has been accepted into a two-year diploma program in the UK. How much will it cost to apply for a student visa? Start on a Gov.UK page to compare the experience there to the similar task on Canada.ca (For research only, not a measurement task.)

    Medical devices

    Partner department

    Health Canada

    Objective

    Make it easier for medical device manufacturers and other firms subject to Canada’s medical device regulations to find and understand the information they need to comply with regulatory requirements.

    Why this work matters

    • Analytics show that more than half of the visits to pages about medical devices are to those that provide information specific to the medical device industry
    Task success before Task success after Improvement to task success
    16% 62%

    +46%pts

    Task scenarios tested and improved

    • Your team has been working on a knee prosthesis that you would like to bring to market. You're submitting a Class III medical device licence application. Will you need to submit a declaration of conformity as part of your application?
    • Your United States-based business imports hydraulic stretchers (a Class I medical device) from Europe and sells them online to health care facilities in the U.S. and Canada. Do you need a Medical Device Establishment Licence (MDEL) from Health Canada?
    • Your company manufactures infrared lamps. Can you determine what class of medical device licence is required?
    • Starting in 2019, a new process was introduced for Quality Management System certification for medical devices. The advantage for manufacturers is that quality auditing will now be recognized internationally. In how many nations is the certification now recognized?
    • Your company manufactures sleep apnea equipment. You received your medical device licence September 1, 2019. What do you need to do to renew your medical device licence for 2020?
    • There was recently a problem with one of the medical devices your company sells in Canada. Under which of the following circumstances is your company required to report the incident to Health Canada?
    • Your distribution company delivered temperature-sensitive medical devices to hospitals. You later discover that one of the freezers at your facility was above the required temperature for storing the product. Do you need to initiate a recall?
    • Your competitor produces a light therapy product similar to yours. You have reason to believe that the competitor's product label regarding the amount of light it emits is incorrect. Can you show me the form you would use to report your concerns to Health Canada?
  • 2019

    Pay for the public service

    Partner department

    Public Services and Procurement Canada

    Objective

    Make it easier for public servants to find and understand their pay information.

    Why this work matters

    • Canada had nearly 288,000 public servants in 2019
    • Pay issues are a major cause of stress for public servants
    • Helping public servants access and understand pay information better can reduce stress and avoid some common pay issues
    Task success before Task success after Improvement to task success
    18% 78%

    +60%pts

    Task scenarios tested and improved

    • Your friend just completed a degree in translation and is considering joining the government. What's the salary of a level 1 translator in the government?
    • Pat starts as a public servant on Monday, December 2nd. He needs to know when he will get his first paycheque, assuming his department does everything correctly.
    • Alice accepted a 3-month acting position at Health Canada, starting in February. She wants to help her manager make sure her pay is accurate when she starts. When should her manager submit the paperwork?
    • You have gone on parental leave and need to check your pay stub deductions from home. Find a way to do this.
    • Avery took a 3-month leave without pay for school and is returning to work at Health Canada next month. She wants to help her manager ensure she starts getting paid as soon as possible. When should her manager submit the paperwork?
    • You switched banks and want your next pay to be deposited in the new account. Which of the options below would you choose: What form or forms should be submitted? Where would you submit the change?
    • Pat started work this year. Find a way for Pat to view her pay stub to check the deductions.
    • Sam works at Statistics Canada. It's payday, but he didn't get any pay. What steps should Sam take?
    • It turns out you had an overpayment of $500 on 4 pays last year. You've since bought a new house and finances are tight. Is it possible to arrange your own repayment schedule?
    • Your pay last year was correct. You got two T4 tax slips though—an incorrect one then a correct one in mid-February. You hired a tax advisor to help sort out your taxes. Without contacting anyone, find out if it's possible to get reimbursed for that tax advisor expense.

    Recalls and safety alerts search

    Partner departments

    Health Canada and Transport Canada

    Objective

    Help Health Canada prepare for the implementation of a transformed Recalls and Safety Alerts Management System (RSAMS) with a new search interface so that Canadians can find and understand both recalls and safety alerts.

    Why this work matters

    • There are thousands of recalls and safety alerts published every year. When Canadians can find and understand this information, they are safer.

    Overall task performance

    Functionality in the prototype was evolving as testing began, and some features were only available later in the testing. For this reason, the total number of recorded performances did not meet the minimum threshold for reliable comparison.

    Task scenarios tested

    • Your son is allergic to eggs. He had a reaction tonight. Find out if each of these foods might have caused his allergic reaction.
    • You saw something on Facebook about pastrami recalls. When you check in your fridge, you see you have a package with this tag on it. Are you risking illness if you eat it, or not?
    • You heard on the news that there have been issues with E. coli in raw beef. You have a boneless blade roast in your freezer, purchased from Metzger Meats. What do you need to know to determine if it is safe to eat?
    • Your sister gave you a 2015 Britax B-SAFE 35 baby car seat. Is there anything you or your sister should do before you use it?
    • Your daughter carries an EpiPen in case of severe allergic reactions. Her EpiPen is going to expire soon. You heard there have been production problems, and want to confirm that you can get a replacement. Will you be able to?
    • You are looking at buying a 2003 Honda Pilot SUV. Find out if there are any recalls for it before you buy it.
    • You bought this USB charger at a gas station. When you plugged it in, it gave you an electric shock. You want to find out if Health Canada has issued a warning about this device.
    • There are recalls right now for children's toys that people might have bought. Find and provide the name of the recalled toy that is of the most concern to you.
    • Your daughter is allergic to peanuts. She had a reaction this afternoon at home. She ate only these two foods. Check if either was the cause.
    • You are looking at this bluetooth speaker on eBay. Check if there are any problems with it. Is there a specific detail you should ask the seller about?

    Learn how we did it

    Electronic Procurement Solution

    Partner department

    Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC)

    Objective

    Make it easier for Canadian businesses to find and understand government business opportunities and guidance.

    Why this work matters

    • The federal government is the largest public buyer of goods and services in Canada, with purchases of approximately $23 billion annually
    • PSPC procures close to 80% of the federal government’s annual procurement expenditures on behalf of client departments and agencies,amounting to approximately $18 billion in goods and services
    Task success before Task success after Improvement to task success
    23% 68%

    +45%pts

    Task scenarios tested and improved

    • Jon works for a company that does snow removal in the winter, and landscaping the rest of the year. His boss has asked him to look for opportunities with the federal government. Are there any open projects in Ontario that would be a good fit for the company?
    • Jon found this opportunity for Algoma Grounds Maintenance, but it looks like it might be a bit too big for his company. How could he let other businesses know how to contact him, in case there's a larger company that would be willing to sub-contract?
    • The statement of work for this opportunity has five distinct sections. What is the title of Section 4?
    • Sara has her own business doing freelance proofreading and editing. She and her two employees do short-term contracts with other businesses. She’d like to get contracts with the Government of Canada too. How many opportunities for proofreading are currently available?
    • Suppose Sara found this opportunity. Her company is based in Calgary. Could they do the work there?
    • Suppose they decided they could do the work from Calgary. Sara has a big project coming up and will be busy in October and November. Will that interfere with this opportunity?
    • The Government of Canada uses standardized codes to describe goods and services. What specific code(s) should Frances use to find opportunities related to the web development services she provides?
    • The Government of Canada maintains a number of databases of pre-qualified suppliers of goods and services. Richard's company provides architectural consulting services. What is the name of the government's database of suppliers for this type of service?

    Learn how we did it

    Canada Child Benefit

    Partner department

    Canada Revenue Agency

    Objective

    Make it easier for Canadians to find and understand information related to the Canada Child Benefit.

    Why this work matters

    • Nearly 3.7 million Canadian families received close to $24 billion in annual Canada Child Benefit payments between July 2018 and June 2019
    Task success before Task success after Improvement to task success
    28% 83%

    +55%pts

    Task scenarios tested and improved

    • You didn't get your usual child benefit payment in June. Which of the reasons below would cause payments to stop?
    • Mart's second child was just born this month. How much Canada Child Benefit will Mart now get every month?
    • Exactly which day in December will your Canada Child Benefit payment be deposited?
    • Peter's kids are living with his ex. They will start coming to stay with Peter for 2 weekends per month. Should he apply for the Canada Child Benefit?
    • The kids usually live with Kom but are coming to live with Jad for the summer holidays. What steps should they take so Jad gets the Child Benefit for those months?
    • If you were separated and sharing custody, could the two of you choose what percentage of the Canada Child Benefit each of you will get?
    • Petra's July Child Benefit payment arrived and it is much less than she received in June. What is the most likely reason for this change?
    • Petra didn't work last year while she finished school. What is the one official thing she must do every year in order to keep getting Canada Child Benefit payments for her daughter?
    • Does it take longer to get your first Canada Child Benefit payment if you apply by mail than if you register/use My Account and apply online?
    • Is it safe to close your old bank account before your June 20 Child Benefit payment? You changed your direct deposit to a new bank account number on June 5.

    Travel advice and advisories

    Partner departments

    Global Affairs Canada (GAC); Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC); Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC); Health Canada (HC); Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)

    Objective

    Make it easier for Canadians to find and understand travel advice and guidance from the Government of Canada.

    Why this work matters

    Canadians do a lot of travelling:

    • accessing travel advice and advisories is one of the top 10 tasks on Canada.ca, with more than 11 million annual visits to the entry page for this section Footnote: Travel advice and advisories1
    • in 2017, Canadians made 42.1 million same-day and overnight trips to the United States, and 12.8 million trips to overseas countries Footnote: Travel advice and advisories 2
    • improving this content makes it easier for Canadians to find the information they need about travel to a specific destination so they can:
      • make informed decisions
      • understand the risks
      • travel safely
    Task success before Task success after Improvement to task success
    23% 72%

    +49%pts

    Task scenarios tested and improved

    • Jeff is planning a 6-week trek to explore Indonesia. He takes Tylenol with codeine for arthritis pain. Can he bring this prescription medication into Indonesia with him?
    • Jan is travelling to Malawi for her work. Has the Government of Canada advised against travel to that country?
    • Carole is travelling in Spain. She has lost her passport and needs to get it replaced. What will she need to provide as proof of her Canadian citizenship?
    • Rani is planning a vacation in Cuba. She will be purchasing health insurance, having heard that she will need to show proof of this on arrival. Is there anything specific the insurance policy should include?
    • Jeanine is planning a destination wedding. She wants to get married in the Cayman Islands during the September long weekend. Are there any serious safety risks that could affect her plans?
    • The Canadian government provides a list of recommendations for Canadians travelling abroad. What is the first recommendation?
    • Daniel is in London, England, and needs to have a document notarized by a Canadian consular official. Can he make an appointment at the London office of the High Commission of Canada?
    • After spending time with friends in Panama, Maya is heading to Costa Rica for a week-long vacation. Does she require a Yellow Fever vaccination to go to Costa Rica?
    • Marco is travelling to Cambodia for his job. Has the Canadian government issued a travel advisory for that country?

    Learn how we did it

    Contact the CRA

    Partner department

    Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

    Objective

    Make it easier for Canadians to find the correct phone number or mailing address for specific services related to the CRA.

    Why this work matters

    Improving the usability of contact information for the CRA will:

    • reduce the time Canadians spend looking for answers
    • free up call centre agents to work on more complex problems
    Task success before Task success after Improvement to task success
    40% 85%

    +45%pts

    Task scenarios tested and improved

    • Your bank asked for an official proof of income statement. It's Sunday. Do you have to wait until Monday to call CRA to get this or is there a number you can call today?
    • You renewed your mortgage, and you moved all your bank accounts to a new bank. What number would you call to get your personal tax refund into your new bank account?
    • You are sponsoring your parents so they can immigrate to Canada. Immigration asked for copies of your CRA Notices of Assessment for the last 3 years. What number would you call to get them?
    • You had a baby a few weeks ago. While at the hospital, you applied for the Canada Child Benefit but you haven't heard back. What number would you call to find out what to expect?
    • You were expecting your personal tax refund to be deposited last week but it hasn't come. You only have a few minutes to call and it's Monday - find the best phone number to find out when it will arrive.
    • You made a business tax payment 2 weeks ago, but it got applied to your personal tax account by mistake. Which number would you call to move the payment to the right account?
    • You owe more corporate income tax than you expected and can't pay what you owe. What number would you call to talk about whether you can pay it off over several months?
    • Your office got one of those threatening fake phone calls saying they were the Canada Revenue Agency. What number would you call to report it?
    • You are helping your aunt in China sell a house in Vancouver. She filled out this T2062 form and is ready to send it in as registered mail. What address should she send it to?
    • Your business needs to send in this RC1 form to get a payroll account. What address should you send it to from your office in Penticton BC?
    • You lost the security code that you need to login to your personal CRA account. Find out which phone number to call to get one.

    Learn how we did it

  • 2018

    EI maternity and parental benefits

    Partner departments

    Service Canada, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)

    Objective

    Make it easier for Canadian parents to understand and apply for maternity and parental benefits.

    Why this work matters

    • Thousands of Canadians parents apply for maternity and parental benefits each year
    Task success before Task success after Improvement to task success
    28% 78%

    +50%pts

    Task scenarios tested and improved

    • Anne is expecting a baby in 6 weeks. She wants to work right up to her due date and take leave after. She'll be applying to get money from the government during her time off.If she wants to get everything ready before the baby is born, when should she apply?
    • Maya's doctor orders her off work 5 weeks before her baby is due. She doesn't have any vacation or sick days left through her work. Does she have to use her maternity leave or are there other options?
    • You've been working full time for the past year and are expecting a baby. How can you be sure that your earnings are considered "insurable" so you can apply for parental leave to look after the baby?
    • Diane is expecting a baby. She wants to take as much time off as possible. Her partner also wants to take 4 weeks of leave right after the birth. What's the longest leave Diane can take from start to finish?
    • You have recently been promoted from part-time to full-time, so your weekly pay has gone up a lot. How long do you need to be working at the new rate to get the maximum parental benefit amount after your baby is born?
    • Fiona adopted a baby and chose the 35-week option for parental leave when she applied. Now that the baby is a little older, can she switch to a longer leave?
    • Jeanine is applying for maternity leave. Her employer recently gave everyone in the company a bonus after a successful year. Will Jeanine's bonus be included in the calculation of her maternity benefits?
    • Marie is on parental leave and planning for her return to work. How can she find out when her last benefit payment will be?
    • Naya is expecting a baby. December 13 will be her last day at work. Her partner is going to take 10 weeks of leave. She has a salary of $43,000 per year, and wants to get the highest payments possible during her leave.How much will she get per week? When will her payments end?

    Learn how we did it

    Student loans and grants

    Partner department

    Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)

    Objective

    Make it easier for Canadian students applying, managing and accessing details of their student loans and grants.

    Why this work matters

    • Improving the usability of the student loans process simplifies this important process used by nearly half a million Canadian students each year
    Task success before Task success after Improvement to task success
    61% 88%

    +31%pts

    Task scenarios tested and improved

    • Can an apprentice get a loan from the Canadian government to help during their apprenticeship?
    • Can you get a grant from the Government of Canada to attend university part time?
    • Your niece lives in New Brunswick will start university soon. She is from a low-income family and wants to apply for a student loan and a grant. Does she need to submit 2 separate applications?
    • How would you update your bank account details to receive your student loan?
    • Does the government offer a way to help you repay your student loans if your income drops?
    • How soon after graduating do you have to start paying back your student loan from the government of Canada?
    • You have been making student loan payments for the last 3 years but your financial situation is now very bad. Can your student loans be cleared if you file for bankruptcy?
    • You graduated and earned some extra money at work. Is it possible to apply that money to your student loan outside of your regular monthly payments?
    • You are having trouble making your loan payments despite still living with your parents in Manitoba. Who would you contact to discuss your situation and find out if you can get help repaying?

    Learn how we did it

    Find a job

    Partner departments

    Employment and Social Development Canada; Public Service Canada

    Objective

    Make it easier for Canadians to find government jobs on Canada.ca.

    Why this work matters

    • Canada had an unemployment rate of 5.8% in 2018
    • Improving this content makes it easier for millions of Canadians to find jobs with the Government of Canada
    Task success before Task success after Improvement to task success
    59% 85%

    +26%pts

    Task scenarios tested and improved

    • You just received your Office Administration diploma. How many Administrative Assistant jobs could you apply for to work for the Federal Government?
    • You heard there is a position open in Alberta for a veterinarian to work for the Federal Government. How would you apply for it?
    • You just graduated high school and want to be an Infantry soldier. Is the military accepting applications for infantry soldiers right now?
    • How would you apply to be a government Border Officer?
    • You are halfway through your studies. How would you apply to the Federal Government to be considered for a student job?
    • You are graduating soon with a Legal Assistant diploma. How many open positions can you apply for in Vancouver that are specifically for a legal assistant?
    • You heard there is a carpenter job available in Greenwood, Nova Scotia to work for the Federal Government. Does this job require you to be bilingual, English and French?

    Learn how we did it

    Prepare for the citizenship test

    Partner department

    Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

    Objective

    Make it easier for applicants to study for the Canadian citizenship test.

    Why this work matters

    • Canada confers citizenship on over 100,000 people each year
    • Applicants for Canadian citizenship have adapted to a new country, a new culture, and often a new language
    • Accessing the material they need to study for their citizenship test should be the least of their worries
    Task success before Task success after Improvement to task success
    69% 86%

    +17%pts

    Task scenarios tested and improved

    • You submitted your citizenship application. What else will you need to do to become a Canadian citizen?
    • What are the different ways you could study for the Canadian citizenship test?
    • Will there be questions testing your English or French language skills in the citizenship test?
    • According to the citizenship test study guide, in what year did the current Canadian flag become the official flag of Canada?
    • According to the citizenship test study guide, what does the word Inuit mean?
    • What do you need to take with you when you go to take the Citizenship test?

    Learn how we did it

    Business account maintenance

    Partner department

    Canada Revenue Agency

    Objective

    Make it easier for Canadians to register and manage their CRA business accounts.

    Why this work matters

    • Improving the usability of self-serve options reduces the workload of managing account information for businesses
    • Redirecting simple transactions to lower-cost digital options reduces support costs for the CRA
    Task success before Task success after Improvement to task success
    34% 72%

    +38%pts

    Task scenarios tested and improved

    • You want to register for a business number by mail. What is the number of the form you will need to send?
    • You just registered your business, a sole proprietorship, with the government of Nova Scotia, and you received a business number. Find out if you need a federal business number, too.
    • You are thinking of becoming an Uber driver to earn extra income while you are in school. You have been told that Uber drivers must collect and remit sales tax, and that you will need to register for a GST/HST account. Do you need to know the amount of your annual sales when you register online?
    • You have recently registered online for a GST/HST program account from the federal government. What information will you receive to confirm your registration is complete?
    • You have been making maple syrup and selling it locally for a few years. You have never needed to register with the Canada Revenue Agency before, but you are now thinking of selling it online to customers in the United States. Do you need to register with the Canada Revenue Agency first? Find out if you need to register a business number to export goods sell your syrup in the US?
    • You need to update your business address with the CRA. Please show me where you would go to update your address information online.
    • You have been offered a full-time job, and won't be earning business income for a period of time. You want to keep your business active for use in the future. What do you need to do to keep your GST/HST account active?
    • You operate a business in Penticton, B.C., and you need to send some documents to the CRA tax centre that is processing your business return. Find the mailing address you should use.

    Learn how we did it

    Recalls and safety alerts

    Partner departments

    Health Canada, Canadian Food and Safety Inspection Agency, Transport Canada, and Environment Canada

    Objective

    Make it easier for Canadians to find and understand both recalls and safety alerts for food, health products, vehicles and car seats.

    Why this work matters

    • There are thousands of recalls and safety alerts every year. When Canadians can find and understand this information, they are safer.
    Task success before Task success after Improvement to task success
    52% 86%

    +34%pts

    Task scenarios tested and improved

    • Your son is allergic to eggs. He had a reaction tonight. Find out if each of these foods might have caused his allergic reaction.
    • You saw something on Facebook about roast beef recalls. When you check in your fridge, you see you have a sandwich with this tag on it. Are you risking illness if you eat it, or not?
    • While on Facebook, you clicked on this recall. Looking at your bottle, you see it is not the same. Yours is called Original Mixture, with serial number 6F99322. Has it been recalled too?
    • A friend gave you a 2014 Britax B-SAFE 35 baby car seat. Is there anything you or your friend should do before you use it?
    • Your EpiPen is going to expire soon. You heard there are production problems. Find out what you should do if you have an allergic reaction before you get a new one.
    • You are looking at buying a 2003 Honda Pilot SUV. Find out if there are any recalls for it before you buy it. (Then) Rate your confidence that you found all of the recalls for this vehicle.
    • You bought Stella Artois beer. You heard that there is a problem with this brand. Your bottles have this label. Are they affected?
    • There are recalls right now for children's toys that people might have bought. Find and provide the name of the recalled toy that is of the most concern to you.
    • You want to buy lettuce. You remember seeing something about lettuce that made people ill. Which type(s) of lettuce should you avoid buying today?
    • Your daughter is allergic to peanuts. She had a reaction this afternoon at home. She ate only these two foods. Check if either was the cause. [(Neither are listed) When they've reached a conclusion: What would you do?]
    • You are looking at this high chair on eBay. Check if there are any problems with this model.

    Learn how we did it

    EI special benefits

    Partner department

    Employment and Social Development Canada

    Objective

    Make it easier for Canadians to understand eligibility for caregiver benefits.

    Why this work matters

    • Thousands of Canadians receive the family caregiver and compassionate care benefits each year
    Task success before Task success after Improvement to task success
    52% 79%

    +27%pts

    Task scenarios tested and improved

    • Darren has been working full-time and making EI contributions for 5 months. Is that enough for him to qualify for government support to take time off work to look after his sick 8-year-old son?
    • What information would Chen need from his employer to support an application to take time off from work to look after his sick wife?
    • Tara has applied for government support to take time off work to look after her sick 12-year-old daughter. When will she receive her first payment?
    • Could you show me how you would apply for government help to take time off work to look after a sick parent?
    • Omar is receiving government support to take time off work and look after an aunt who is ill. The relative's illness has suddenly become much worse, and she may not survive it. Omar has heard there is separate support to care for someone who may be near death. When can he apply for this?
    • John's 6-year-old daughter is ill. How does John show that she is sick enough for him to qualify for government support to look after her?
    • Irina’s father has fallen seriously ill. Her best friend Jane will take time off work to look after him. As Jane is not a member of the family, what will Irina need to do to support Jane's application?

    Learn how we did it

    GST/HST and payroll

    Partner department

    Canada Revenue Agency

    Objective

    Make it easier for businesses to fulfill their GST/HST and payroll requirements.

    Why this work matters

    • There are 5,400,000 active GST/HST accounts in Canada and 1,700,000 active Payroll accounts in Canada
    Task success before Task success after Improvement to task success
    48% 76%

    +28%pts

    Task scenarios tested and improved

    • Can you pay your company's payroll CPP and EI deductions to CRA using Interac?
    • You issued an invoice, with GST included, on the last day of the quarter. Can you wait until the invoice is paid before sending in your payment?
    • You accidentally made an error when you submitted your last payroll return. You under-paid your source deductions to CRA by $350. Will you get fined?
    • If your Ontario company sells and ships a taxable product to a customer in Alberta, do you charge them GST or HST?
    • You mailed a cheque to pay your company’s payroll deductions. How would you confirm that the CRA received it?
    • You registered for GST for the first time on August 31, and will file your return annually. Your fiscal year ended October 31. Your net tax for September and October was $2,500. Will you need to pay your GST in instalments for the next fiscal year?
    • A business collects taxes from its employees’ pay. It sends the taxes it has collected to the government 4 times a year. When must it send the next payment by?
    • In 2018, what will be the maximum amount of CPP contributions you can deduct from an employee's pay?
    • You have recently registered for a GST account and have been collecting GST/HST. How would you find out when you have to pay it?
    • Your business operates seasonally, so you don't pay employees during the winter. Do you need to let CRA know this?

    Learn how we did it

    Disease and immunization information

    Partner departments

    Health Canada; Global Affairs Canada

    Objective

    Make it easier for Canadians to interpret immunization guidelines.

    Why this work matters

    • Flu cases result in nearly 12,000 hospitalizations in Canada each year
    Task success before Task success after Improvement to task success
    53% 84%

    +31%pts

    Task scenarios tested and improved

    • This year's flu season could be worse than usual. Find the government’s advice on the most important way to avoid getting the flu.
    • Your friend put up a post urging her friends not to vaccinate their kids because of the risk of autism. Find some answers that would make you feel ready to discuss it with her.
    • You got a few mosquito bites on your honeymoon down south but you feel fine. Before getting pregnant, you want to make sure you don’t have Zika. Is there a test that can tell if you're infected?
    • You plan to start a family soon, but want a sunny vacation first. Which of the countries below should you avoid because of the risk of Zika?
    • Your baby was born on the first of this month. At what age is the first set of vaccinations recommended?
    • It is flu season and a family member is pregnant. Find out whether or not she should get a flu shot while pregnant.
    • You don't want to miss work tomorrow but should stay away if you have the flu. Yesterday, all of the symptoms below hit: find out which ones are the signal that it's the flu.
    • You think you heard something on the news about people being sick in Italy. Is there a particular concern you should be aware of before you go with your baby?
    • You are planning a trip to Mexico. Which specific vaccinations are recommended before you go?
    • The weekly flu report says most cases are an H3N2 flu. Find out if that particular flu is in this year's vaccine in Canada to help persuade your partner to get a flu shot.

    Diseases and immunization: Learn how we did it

  • 2017

    Weather information

    Partner department

    Environment and Climate Change Canada

    Objective

    Make it easier for Canadians to understand notifications about dangerous weather conditions.

    Why this work matters

    • Canadians check the weather with the Government of Canada more than they do anything else
    • More than 550,000,000 visits to weather.gc.ca annually
    Task success before Task success after Improvement to task success
    33% 72%

    +39%pts

    Task scenarios tested and improved

    • What will the weather be like in your area for the rest of the day?
    • You heard there is rain coming but you want to cycle to/home from work. Find out when the probability of rain is the highest so you can avoid those times.
    • It's Sunday morning, and you need to drive to Kingston for a Monday noon meeting. Should you leave this evening, or tomorrow morning?
    • Hail would rip holes in your expensive tent. Should you rush to pack up your camp site this morning or take your time this evening?
    • You want to take the the dog for a short walk before it rains. It is already raining anywhere in the Ottawa area yet (yes/no)?
    • You are coaching children's soccer tonight. You have to cancel if the humidex is above 40 degrees. Should you cancel the game or not?
    • You are the golf course manager: the sky looks dark. Find out (yes/no) whether you should clear the course because of the potential of lightning in the next 10-20 minutes.

    Learn how we did it

    Travel documents

    Partner department

    Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

    Objective

    To help those potential visitors to Canada to clearly understand what documentation is required to enter.

    Why this work matters

    • IRCC processes about 1,000,000 Visa applications a year
    • IRCC expects 3,200,000 Electronic Travel Authorization applications this year
    Task success before Task success after Improvement to task success
    45% 92%

    +47%pts

    Task scenarios tested and improved

    • Find out what I need to come to Canada as a tourist from my country.
    • Find out what I need to come to Canada as a Canadian permanent resident.
    • Find out what I need to come to Canada as a former Canadian permanent resident.
    • Find out what I need to come to Canada as a Canadian dual citizen.
    • Find out what I need to come to Canada from the USA with an American passport.
    • Find out what I need to transit through a Canadian airport coming from China?

    Travel documents: Learn how we did it

    Business start-up activities

    Partner departments

    Canada Revenue Agency; Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

    Objective

    Combine information from across departments so that Canadians easily get the whole picture on what the Government of Canada requires when starting a business.

    Why this work matters

    • Approximately 40,000 new small and medium enterprises start up each year
    Task success before Task success after Improvement to task success
    52% 88%

    +36%pts

    Task scenarios tested and improved

    • Imagine you are going to start a home business in Winnipeg, part-time as a consultant. Find out what you can find out about any essential legal steps in that process.
    • You want to name your new business ‘SOMOS’. Check if it is legal or illegal for you to start using that name.
    • You expect to earn about $1,000 a month from your new business for the first six months. Find out whether you must charge GST to your customers.
    • Your first employee starts work next month. Find out if there is an official step you must take before or very soon after you cut their first paycheque.
    • Your business needs to start collecting GST. Find the official first step you must take.
    • You have decided to incorporate your business. Is it possible to submit the application form online, and if so, how much it will cost?

    Business start-up activities: Learn how we did it

  • 2016
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