University of Canterbury

Digital strategy for the University of Canterbury

Learn how Purple Shirt used Human Centered Design techniques to form the University of Canterbury's digital vision.


Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha (University of Canterbury) is undergoing a period of transformation as it responds to a range of forces that continue to destabilise the global tertiary sector. The University recognises that digital will play a critical role in enabling the organisation to respond to these destabilising forces but required a strategic framework from which the future state digital experience could be built.


Provide customer experience, innovation and user experience research and design support to one of Aotearoa’s leading tertiary providers through a period of digital and cultural transformation in which customer-centricity will become a tangible source of competitive advantage.


Purple Shirt has been working with UC since April 2021 across a range of initiatives that have enabled them to define and begin to execute the University’s digital vision. Broadly speaking, Purple Shirt has applied Human Centred Design and Jobs To Be Done methodologies to business problems to create a series of strategic frameworks that underpin the delivery of a broad range of digital products and services.

Services provided:

  • Co-design and workshop facilitation
  • Strategic customer experience consulting
  • UX research and design
  • Product management and strategy development
  • Information architecture
  • Jobs To Be Done research.


  • Creation of a coherent digital vision aligned with the organisation's strategic intent
  • Creation of the “learner lifecycle” - a human centred view of the end-to-end learner experience developed through deep consultation with learners and staff
  • Creation of a postgraduate “learner lifecycle”
  • Development of customer led product strategy for both the University’s mobile and web experiences
  • Supported the productisation of UX services within the University
  • Supported UC in identifying opportunities to enhance the Learner experience through the use of data
  • Development of an all of University Design System Strategy
  • Demonstrated best practice ways of working and supported capability uplift.

In the words of

University of Canterbury

Purple Shirt has been instrumental in UC's Digital Strategy journey, both as Facilitator Extraordinaire as well as being our bedrock in delivering to our experience-led design strategic principle. They just have this knack in getting diverse stakeholders to collaborate together.

Ken Lai
Director, Architecture & Development Practices

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Latest work

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