Rural Industries R&D Corporation


What we did

Australia lags behind many countries in using bioenergy (energy from plant material) as an alternative to fossil-fuel-based energy.

In 2012, on behalf of the Rural Industries R&D Corporation, we conducted research (a survey and in-depth interviews) to help us understand:

  • the perceptions and concerns of people in primary industry in Australia
  • what information they said they needed to be able to get involved in bioenergy
  • how they liked to receive their information.

In response to our findings, in 2013 we were re-engaged to develop a knowledge portal which directs people to practical, credible information about:

  • producing biomass that can be converted to energy
  • getting into the bioenergy supply chain
  • starting a bioenergy plant.

Biomass Producer is the result.


Energy crops featured on Biomass Producer, the bioenergy portal

Our role included:

  • managing the project to develop the knowledge portal
  • engaging and briefing a design agency (we chose Design Royale, now Edelman)
  • choosing the site name, tagline and domain name
  • identifying the top tasks that the portal needed to support (from our survey and in-depth interviews)
  • selecting and liaising with a group of six representative users to refine the top tasks, create the information architecture and test the usability of the portal
  • creating the information architecture and reviewing wireframes
  • sourcing content from credible sources, making sure all content supports a top task
  • selecting and liaising with a content approval panel (6 members) to make sure all content is relevant and credible
  • writing a short paragraph about each approved source, using web writing principles
  • sourcing images
  • developing case studies of operational bioenergy projects (field trips to Echuca, Victoria; Dalby, Queensland; Mackay, Queensland; and Gosford, Sydney) using text, video and photos
  • publishing the content using WordPress
  • testing the portal
  • launching the portal at the Bioenergy Australia annual conference in November 2013.

In 2014, we were engaged to maintain the portal, and source and develop new content.