Identifying opportunities for better services through user research


Clean Energy Regulator


User Research



The Clean Energy Regulator (CER) places a significant focus on providing a high level of service to all who deal with the agency across all of its schemes. The agency identified that users of its digital services were having a poor user experience, that included their website and portal administration systems. The systems were difficult to access, very complex and did not interact well with each other. Users often had to provide the same information more than once and had poor visibility of their information within the systems.

To provide the high level of service it strived for, the agency needed to understand the different types of users that interact with the services and systems that it offers. This extended beyond just knowing who they are. It meant understanding the needs and frustrations of users and identifying opportunities to design world-class services and information systems that are desirable and encourage active and compliant interaction with the agency.

CER engaged Pragma to undertake a detailed assessment of the needs of all its users across all of its schemes with the aim of understanding how its digital services could be improved to help both users and the agency achieve their goals.

Pragma planned and conducted an extensive user research project to distil key insights and illustrate both the frustrations of users and opportunities to improve the user experience.

To structure the research, a detailed plan was developed that outlined the research vision, objectives and methods. This included a number of hypotheses designed to test assumptions and drive meaningful results. To ensure the most robust research outcomes, a number of different research methods were employed that combined the subjective and attitudinal qualities of qualitative research with the harder behavioural qualities of quantitative research (as per below diagram).

Research activities included a series of structured interviews and workshops. Pragma also conducted a detailed online survey sent out to over 5000 agency clients. This was combined with a series of desktop research activities analysing current data sources. At a high level, the research findings were analysed and grouped into broad themes and associated research threads. Pragma then conducted a detailed analysis of the research findings to inform a deep understanding of the agency’s users, with the findings and analysis presented in a detailed and highly visual User Research Blueprint.

Equipped with the User Research Blueprint, the agency is now able to identify a series of opportunities for future iterations of their digital systems. This means that future work will be high impact and of real value to its users.

Improving the user experience with their digital systems also allows the agency to further encourage participation with its services, enhancing the agency’s ability to meet their purpose of: “Accelerating carbon abatement for Australia.”

While you're here, explore what we did for Department of Human Services.

From the archive

Creating user research resources for collaboration and capability

Read about the Department of Human Services program