Client: Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (Victoria)

Timeframe: April 2016 – June 2016

Our role: User research, information architecture, wire frames, intranet specification


The department’s intranet has a critical role in delivering workplace tools and services to staff across the department, which has more than 3500 staff across 80+ locations. Due to machinery-of-government changes, staff were having to contend with fragmented legacy intranets that hampered their ability to complete basic tasks.

The department had launched a tactical project to redevelop the intranet in order to consolidate content from legacy intranets onto one platform. There was also work to improve various critical applications that staff access through the intranet such as People Directory.

Within this context, the department wanted to establish a long-term plan for the ongoing development of the intranet based on a detailed understanding of user needs and an assessment of the technical capability of the current platform.

The project was driven by the need for the intranet to facilitate communication, engagement and collaboration across the department.

To this end, Briarbird was commissioned to undertake extensive staff research to clearly identify business and user requirements for the intranet, develop a plan for engagement and collaboration, and to articulate the impacts these requirements may have on the current platform and the intranet team’s resource levels.

We devoted critical effort into understanding the strategic context and drivers for the organisation, which revolved around the need for collaboration and engagment.

We then conducted an extensive user research program that included:

  • Review of the content audit and site usage analysis
  • Review of strategic documents
  • Workshops and interviews with key stakeholders in metro, regional and international offices
  • Online survey of over 350 staff

Throughout the consultation, we extensively used co-design activities that involved participants creating/sketching their ideas and thoughts. This enabled participants to engage directly in designing the solution and gave us great insight into their needs and requirements.

The consultation really drove home that the intranet needed to have features that encouraged and enticed staff to re-engage with the department, in particular those staff who were MOG-ed out.

We also conceptualised and visualised the main drivers of the intranet transformation, in order to help communicate with the executive.

In the end, the project delivered to the client:

  • A detailed understanding of staff needs
  • nternal consensus on the unique role of the intranet and its key features
  • A detailed plan and roadmap to guide the redevelopment (undertaken by the department’s internal team)
  • A strategic plan for engagement and collaboration with staff

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