Developing a website of national significance


Department of Home Affairs


Content Design
User Research
UX Design



The Department of Home Affairs was looking to redevelop its National Security website, coinciding with a re-platform project. The project team was aware that the website needed a visual redesign, and that the information architecture wasn’t easily navigated by users.

The Department engaged Pragma to redevelop the website with new content, UX and IA design, including a content audit and analysis to support user research activities. Importantly, the National Security website had to be designed using existing design components built for the Departments suite of websites, but still have a different look and feel to other sites. This presented a significant design challenge.

Pragma also coached the website redevelopment team to grow their capability in UX and content design.

Pragma conducted a thorough content audit of the National Security website. We inventoried the contents of the website and used Google Analytics data to understand the performance of content and the highest priority information for users. We also analysed the findings from the team’s user research and tree jack tests of the current website to understand user needs and how the user experience of the content and IA could be improved.

From this, we worked in a multi-disciplinary team to move from the user personas identified by the team’s user research to content design, to UX wireframes, and into high-fidelity visual prototypes.

High priority content was redesigned in line with DTA readability and accessibility standards. Pragma trained the Web Redevelopment team in content and IA design and developed a content design and approval process that was able to be implemented to continue improving content beyond the project timelines.

Our content designers and UX designers worked closely to ensure all designs meet identified user needs and alleviated users’ frustrations in the current website. Our UX designers faced the particular challenge of being required to use existing components in the Home Affairs pattern library but restyling them, so the new National Security website had a completely different look and feel.

During this process, Pragma ran user research, IA, UX and content design, and usability testing training workshops for each stage of the redevelopment process. These were in-depth sessions exploring the best practice methods and processes used, to enable the Web Redevelopment team to continue this work in this project and beyond.

The thorough content audit analysis and IA testing Pragma conducted, as well as the training we ran with the Departments team, enabled this project to continue to meet timelines and budget beyond Pragma’s involvement. The content and designs we developed were easy to socialise with stakeholders because our decisions and design work were supported by evidence uncovered about existing website performance.

Designing and developing user personas enabled the design team to incorporate best practice in design, such as providing interactive elements that allow a user to understand and absorb segments of complex information quickly – rather than the large volumes of text that users were previously faced with on the existing website. Adding to this, the new visual design created a trustworthy, straightforward and helpful website experience.

The training workshops built the Departments team’s capability and allowed them to continue the redevelopment of the website using best practices. The training increased the team’s confidence in making evidence-based decisions around content and design, as well as conducting research and usability testing sessions.

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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