Ministry of Education • 2019

Empowering parents to make an informed decision for their child's education

Enhancing the Primary and Special Educational Needs (SEN) section of the Ministry of Education (MOE) website.


The website was not effective and efficient enough in helping parents to fulfil their tasks. This may have led to an increasing level of anxiety within parents since looking to apply for the right school for their child is an important milestone.
"P1 registration process is like a big scary monster coming." 
– Mother of a 2 year old daughter

"MOE website has too much information and is difficult to search - as a working Mom, there is no time to read."
– Single mother of a 7 and 2 year old daughter

"It is too complicated, I would need someone to explain it to me."  
– Mother of a 7 year old daughter and 5 year old son


User Interview

We conducted 15 user interviews with parents of primary school students. The goals of the user interview were to:
  • Uncover their experience of primary school or special needs
  • Understand their challenges, motivations and how they make decisions
  • Gather user feedback on the current website

Key Insights

  1. Finding information can be a challenge
    The website is also tedious and information-heavy, and parents need to trawl through chunks of information to get what they need. If they are unable to find or understand the information, they will resort to other sources of information or approach the customer service touchpoints.
  2. Difficulty in understanding information
    Parents find it difficult to understand the content on the MOE website (e.g. phases and eligibility were confusing to parents), especially for parents registering their child for for the first time.
  3. Content is written in a MOE-centric style
    Parents are unable to understand certain jargon e.g. "planning area" (which just means location). Parents are also searching for alternative terms such as "Primary 1" or "P1" instead of "Primary One", which may not appear in the search results, in search engines.
  4. General lack of awareness by parents of special needs children
    Parents of special needs children are unaware of the resources available on the MOE website. As a result, they mainly rely on word-of-mouth and their own support networks, which may not always provide all the pathway options available to them.


Organising content based on user journey

We organised the website to align the journey that parents are going through so that they can easily find content and complete their tasks.
Instead of having chunks of information, we added topic cards (e.g. Primary (P1) Registration) to the primary landing page. This allows parents to view many different topics at a glance which enables them to quickly and easily focus on the topic at hand. We also added a section to highlight important key dates or announcements.

Providing guidance

Parents come to the website to complete a specific task and they should leave with the complete information. They should not have to put together piecemeal information.

Building tools to help parents get answers easily

Instead of navigating long chunks of text to find the answers, we built some tools to help parents get answers easily by answering a few questions or entering their criteria.

Checking of child's registration phase

Scanning through the registration phase content was tedious. Even after the reading the content, some parents still did not understand which phase they belonged to. By building the Phase Checker, we helped them understand which registration phase they belong to easily by answering a few questions.

Finding schools made easier

Previously, parents had to scan through a list of school in a table. By building SchoolFinder, we helped them filter the list of schools easily by entering their criteria, or simply search for a school or keyword. Parents can also shortlist the schools they are considering to enrol their child into.

Visualising education pathways for special needs

We designed an interactive tool to educate and help parents visualise the different education pathways for their child. The graph (on the right) provides the entire pathway in a glance. As the user scrolls down the content, the step will be highlighted in colour in the graph.


The feedback from the public was very positive, with many noting that it was much more comprehensive to find their answers and easier to navigate.
"This is so much easier to use compared to the current website because sometimes the information that I want is not presented together and requires a lot of clicks. The new design helps a lot because I can see everything in one shot." 
– Mother of a 6 year old daughter and 4 year old son (during usability testing)

Helping parents understand the preschool landscape better