GPSSA - Case Study

The Challenge

The General Pension and Social Security Authority (GPSSA) would like to help users fulfil their administrative tasks quickly and with ease of use.

The current situation is such that their users can use a few channels, namely customer services centre or by phone calls. This has led to long ques both at the centre and on the phone. This is the major cause of frustration for users and the GPSSA; from the administrative problem itself for GPSSA, as well as the pain of going to a centre to wait in line for their issue to get fixed.

However, after a few years of existence, the app GPSSA team realised that it was used mostly as a complaints collector rather than a problem-solver. In other words, it was contributing to the problem more than it was actually solving it.

The Breif

To create an app which would delight the user and showcase all the services that GPSSA provide, in a timely and efficient manner.

The app should:

    1. A delightful customer with efficient, hassle-free and simple experience offered by mobile apps
    2. Making a natural and intuitive tool for pensioners in Dubai
    3. Make the mobile application simple and easy to use –internationally benchmarked mobile strategy
    4. Align the final product with Smart City concept as well as other Government & international Guidelines
    5. Create ‘WOW’ with end to end and intuitive service integration to make the experience seamless and delight the users

The Research

We worked side by side with the authority’s team over the course of two months to ensure both sides understand the users we’re creating the app for. A few weeks of user research revealed a lot. Every time we get into the room with someone, they confirm or debunk assumptions we have already made.

We’ve set up an open-ended questionnaire and posed probing questions to representatives of various demographics.

The Method

Having a pension and what a user needs from it can differ from user to user. To reflect this reality we had to interview users from very different profiles. We discussed the joys and pains of the type of information needed at different levels within the demographic, to address this we created 3 different persona profiles: New pensioners, experienced pensioners and soon to be pensioners, all of them had different stories to tell, and different ideas to suggest.

Insights & Wireframes

Extracting the main insights from our user testing sessions, then run brainstorming workshops to deliver features that would address these issues. We sorted these ideas through technical feasibility and value for users. Some of them could be implemented, some would be saved for later.

User Testing

To understand better the limitations of current experiences, we got users testing existing apps, and using cognitive walkthrough sessions, task completion measurement and eye-tracking hardware. Similarly, we tested the key screens of our prototypes in order to be able to refine them over time.

The Result

We ran over 30 task tests to assess the future impact on user satisfaction. We measured the performance of the new design over key areas:

  • Discovery (users can find they are looking for)
  • Completion (users can complete their tasks)
  • Satisfaction (how happy users are using the app)
  • Discovery (conquering the learning curve)

When launching a new app design, users typically experience a time of adjustment to be able to find the things in their new place. However, we maintained a very high level of task discovery, in spite of a completely new design, which normally would lead to a drop in discovery (adjustment period).

Completion: no more friction

After the redesigned app was tested, we noticed users were no longer getting stuck while trying to complete the same tasks as before. During our testing sessions, no user gave up on completing the tasks, while it had been the case in some instances before (e.g. checking the status of their application).

Satisfaction: no more frustration

Using the United Arabic Emirates Government’s happiness measurement framework, the level of satisfaction has increased dramatically with the new design. Better still, the unhappiness level is almost down to zero.


The objective of the project was to move away from a catalogue of services and build a more proactive assistant for pensioners. The app understands your needs and offers contextual help, tailored services for each user.

In the future, we hope to integrate even more services to help the people of UAE literally enjoy their retirement, without worrying about administrative problems.

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