Sharing experience in user research to build capability


Department of Home Affairs


User Research



Terrorism poses a direct and ongoing threat to the safety and wellbeing of Australians both in Australia and abroad. The current terrorism threat to Australia and Australian interests is unprecedented in our history. The Department of Home Affairs continues the fight against terrorism and the National Security website is one aspect of this. In order to improve the services provided, the Department needs to understand their users better.

To embed this focus in the design and development to improve current and future services and information systems, the Department is working to build an internal capability sufficient to engage users and conduct effective research to support the fight against terrorism.

Pragma was engaged to build this internal capability by providing coaching and mentoring, which included:

  • Utilising Pragma’s tailored user research framework to coach and mentor a dedicated team in user research planning, methodology and practice; and
  • Assisting the team to conduct user research to distil key insights and illustrate both the frustrations of users and opportunities to improve the user experience of the website.

Pragma conducted a series of intensive workshops with the dedicated team to coach them in the different user research methods. The workshops also involved highly interactive exercises in which the team was able to practice real user research techniques in a controlled environment.

Once the team had a solid grounding in user research methods and practices, we moved into coaching the team to begin applying those methods to plan and conduct extensive baseline user research. This included conducting research activities in partnership with the team.

To ensure a good understanding of the research synthesis process, Pragma then conducted interactive workshops to coach the team in proven synthesis and analysis techniques using the findings of the research to contextualise the learnings.

After working with the team to share our experience and user research methodology, the team acquired the skills and capability to embed user research into the ongoing work practices and importantly plan and conduct a user research project that genuinely contributes to the development of a website of national importance. Pragma is proud to have shared its skills and knowledge to build this important and critical capability within the Department.

Project Team

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