Case Study - The Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries

The Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) is running a System for Enhanced Farm Services Program (SEFS). A key goal of this program is to boost agricultural productivity. One strategy to achieve this is to harness the growth of Internet usage to use online services to deliver timely and valued resources direct to DEPI clients.

DEPI commissioned Revium to investigate the way farmers and agribusinesses conduct research to increase productivity or improve farm management and to identify opportunities for signposting these users to valuable DEPI content towards boosting their productivity.

Revium's User Experience analyst carried out the following research and report.

Approach

The research approach applied was structured around understanding the characteristics, needs and tasks performed by end users in relation to their task.

Technique

Research was conducted through semi-structured interviews with representative end users. The interviews probed to understand the way participants went about the defined task and then focused on understanding their current interaction with the system. Opportunities for improving the available online asset were also probed. The interviews included questions with closed answer sets; open-ended questions inviting discussion and discovery of relevant information with the task, and the observation of actual user behaviour at the computer.

More than twenty-eight (28) Victorian farming and agribusiness participants were interviewed about their user experience including large, medium and small scale farmers, consultants and agronomists from each of the grain, horticulture, dairy, beef and sheep industry sectors. The interview data was collated and analysed and findings and recommendations presented.

Reporting structure

The presented report identified the findings and recommendations on how they should inform the design. This was followed by ancillary findings and recommendations with a broader usability application. The report also contains the determined archetypal personas based on a collage of the participants interviewed. Finally, the user journeys were documented, each one from a 'current' perspective, and a future state envisaged, where the same task was to be attempted with the recommendations in place.

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