About the Digital Transformation Office

The Digital Transformation Office (DTO) is part of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s Strategic Communications and Ministerial Affairs sector. At DTO, we are communications professionals with expertise in content and interaction design, user research and plain language writing.

We work with departments to:

  • ensure that the Canada.ca brand is recognized and trusted by Canadians
  • make information and services that are in demand and published on digital channels easier to find and understand based on insight from user research
  • help communications teams develop their skills and processes as they make a sustainable shift to digital in their organization

We want to hear from you

Join the digital conversation at #Canadadotca or send us an email at dto.btn@tbs-sct.gc.ca

Sign up for our mailing list to find out about workshops, events, user research and usability testing activities that you may want to participate in.

Meet the team

A photo of Hamza Aburaneh
Hamza Aburaneh
Software Developer

Hamza is a software developer at the DTO. His main priorities include working on the alpha experimentation platform for Canada.ca and creating tools and web apps to support usability research and prototyping. Prior to joining the DTO, Hamza studied at Carleton University and graduated with a bachelors of computer science.

A photo of Michèle-Renée (M-R) Charbonneau
Michèle-Renée (M-R) Charbonneau

M-R has been working in, on and around web (internal and external) for over 20 years, first in the private sector and then the Ontario and federal governments, in the content design, e-communications and operations sides. She has led both external and internal web renewal projects for several organizations. She’s had different touchpoints with Canada.ca over the last five years, initially as a theme lead for How government works and Public service and military, before joining the DTO in April 2019.

A strong believer in the power of community collaboration and iterative work, she’s worked throughout her career to foster better organizational working relationships, break silos and have fun at work.

A photo of Gil Côté
Gil Côté
Optimization Delivery Lead (Consultant)

Gil is a digital pioneer with over 25 years of digital transformation experience as a public servant, consultant and business leader. His roles have involved project leadership, product development, business transformation, information and business architecture and application development.

He has a proven track record working with extended project teams, across and between organizations to develop innovative and award winning digital solutions involving content management, search, analytics, and machine learning. His diverse experience includes public and private sector engagements throughout Canada, the United States and Europe.

A photo of David Elisma
David Elisma
Front-end Developer

David Elisma has been a front-end developer on government websites since 2010. He is actively involved with accessibility, web standards and user experience community groups. As the lead developer for the DTO, he helps web specialists in government use results from user experience research to translate design ideas into code for Canada.ca. Among other contributions, David also advocates for equity, diversity and inclusion issues in media and technology, notably with groups that deliver workshops on digital literacy and programming skills to young under-represented members of racialized communities.

A photo of Adey Farah
Adey Farah
Project Officer

Adey is a Project Officer at the DTO. She helps the team deliver a better GC web presence by engaging with various partners, coordinating efforts and ensuring the right tools and resources are in place to deliver on improving top tasks. Prior to joining the DTO, Adey worked in the private sector in marketing and communications. Adey recently completed her MBA at the Ted Rogers School of Management, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy with a concentration in Global Studies.

A photo of Lisa Fast
Lisa Fast
Solution Lead (Consultant)

Lisa is a User Experience (UX) architect and behavioural researcher with over 25 years of experience. Over her career, she has led multi-disciplinary design teams for a range of products and services, won innovation awards and has personally facilitated over 1,000 hours of UX research.

After Nortel, she joined a cognitive research team at Carleton University. Lisa was UX research lead consultant for Canada.ca, and an active GitHub collaborator on the Government of Canada’s Web Experience Toolkit (WET). Back before UX was even a thing, Lisa completed a master’s degree in computer science in the psychology of programming.

A photo of Dave Knight
Dave Knight
Senior Interaction Designer

Dave has been working as Senior Interaction Designer with the Digital Transformation Office for several years now, after twenty years in the private sector working in digital design and development. He is responsible for growing the project’s design systems, and spends most of his time creating and evaluating page layouts, user interface patterns and navigation systems for Canada.ca.

He loves things that work well, and loathes those that are difficult, confusing or otherwise inconvenient for the people trying to use them. He applies his design expertise to help ensure that people’s experiences on Canada.ca are as efficient and pleasant as possible. His personal mission is to make the digital world a little friendlier, and a little easier - one piece at a time.

A photo of Jennifer Mealing
Jennifer Mealing
Senior Interaction Designer

Jennifer has been working as a designer for nearly a decade, but it was a passion to genuinely improve experiences (and to solve real problems for real users) that made her decide to specialize in Interaction Design in recent years.

Joining the Digital Transformation Office team was the perfect opportunity to help others through design. Working here presents the unique challenge, and opportunity, to build better government services for all Canadians. Together she works to validate and test ideas, building data-driven solutions for the public.

A photo of Arianna Merritt
Arianna Merritt
Web Communications Advisor

Arianna joined the DTO in late 2019 as a Web Communications Advisor. She translates the evidence and insights from the Canada.ca design team into blog posts, research summaries, and accompanying social media posts. These focus on improving digital literacy across the GC and building a GC digital community. Prior to joining the DTO, Arianna worked in the private sector for over a decade as a consultant and digital content creator. She has a Master’s in Education in Applied Psychology from the University of Toronto/OISE and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.

A photo of David Pepin
David Pepin
Senior Content Designer

David started his career in the federal public service at the Canada Revenue Agency in 2007, after studying French literature and French teaching. As he was updating publications and web pages, he found his real passion: organizing information and developing content for people, based on their real needs. Since then, his goal has been to simplify and clarify the content in order to allow users to complete their tasks as easily as possible.

He continued his career at Service Canada, with Canada.ca’s Principal Publisher, and then at Global Affairs Canada, where he used his web expertise to enhance content used by thousands of people. David joined the Treasury Board Digital Transformation team with the same desire to strive to make the Government of Canada’s web presence more accessible, more understandable, easier to use and more focused on people’s needs.

A photo of Catalina Perez
Catalina Perez
Design Researcher

Catalina is a user experience (UX) researcher with 10 years of experience uncovering design insights to help improve products and services. At the DTO, Catalina analyses public feedback, runs usability tests and administers top task surveys to help the team design better content for Canada.ca. Catalina is passionate about combining qualitative and quantitative methods. She is always experimenting, striving to understand and communicate people’s needs.

Before joining the DTO, Catalina worked in the private sector as a market researcher. She designed and executed research projects that helped solve business problems for corporate clients. She holds a master’s in Development Studies and a bachelor’s in Anthropology.

A photo of Laura Piper
Laura Piper
Chief, Standards and guidance

Laura has been transforming web content for the federal government for the past 15 years. She has led both external and internal web renewal projects for various organizations. She has also worked as a technical training consultant in the private sector, and has spent years as an arts educator for children and youth. A teacher at heart, Laura is passionate about making complicated government services easy to find and understand for Canadians.

Laura joined the DTO in late 2017. Her role is to facilitate the evolution of web publishing standards for the Government of Canada, by ensuring that they reflect the most up-to-date content design principles.

A photo of Peter Smith
Peter Smith
Chief, Product Design

Peter manages product design for Canada.ca, leading a small but mighty team of usability researchers and interaction designers. Over a 20-year career in the public service, he’s also managed Web and print publishing, designed corporate identity systems, and copyedited far too many news releases and annual reports.

While in academia, he obtained a BA in Anthropology and dabbled in archaeology and literary criticism.

A photo of Jane Stewart
Jane Stewart
Solution Lead (Consultant)

Jane is an information scientist and information architect who has practiced the discipline of organizing for over 25 years. She has designed standards-based and user-centered classification schemes, taxonomies, thesauri, and web navigation systems, and her designs have been implemented in websites, intranets, and interactive applications managed by both private and public sector organizations.

As an employee, her career has included practitioner and leadership roles at Bell-Northern Research, Nortel, Industry Canada, and Systemscope. As a consultant, she has completed over 60 digital transformation projects with a wide variety of organizations. She has operated her independent design firm, Aboutness Inc., since 2010.

A photo of Lana Stewart
Lana Stewart
Design Researcher

Lana is a Design Researcher at the DTO. She is focused on improving government services through top task surveys, analyzing public feedback, and usability testing.

Prior to joining the DTO, she worked as the content strategist for Parks Canada, survived a web renewal project, and led design research for improvements to their annual passes e-commerce site.

Lana joined DTO in late 2019 to hone her research skills and help improve some of the biggest tasks on Canada.ca.

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