The New Landcare Gateway: Research, Consultation and Design

The 2015 VLP Review recommended the need to improve the program’s communication tools (including the Landcare Gateway) to better inform, share and collaborate with the Landcare community.

In order to create a website that genuinely helped the community, we made appropriate community consultation a crucial project objective.

With such a large community, this was always going to be a challenge – there are around 60,000 Landcare group members across the state.

To consult and engage with the Landcare community, our design partner Thick travelled 1,163 kilometres, visited 15 regional Victorian towns and involved 195 people from the Landcare community in a range of activities, including one-on-one interviews, stakeholder workshops, online surveys, prototype testing and design testing.

From Stawell to Yackandandah, Romsey to Shepparton, Mornington to Mitta Mitta, they covered a lot of ground to understand as many perspectives as possible.

What was learned during research?

While we heard many perspectives during our research, we focussed on seven key insights we heard over and again.

Insight 1

Landcare means different things to different people

What did we hear?

Show me “What is Landcare?” Communicate the value of getting involved. I can be part of something big, a movement for positive local change. Doing stuff that matters to me.

What is the opportunity?

Use the website to communicate Landcare’s shared identity.

Insight 2

Groups lack resources that help to engage their community

What did we hear?

We want to use expert knowledge, advice and scientific data to push engagement in events and volunteering opportunities. We want to tag news, events and knowledge hub content with core topics to create links between them.  

What is the opportunity?

Provide online tools that help members engage a broader audience

Insight 3

Groups want to connect to other groups

What did we hear?

The website should help us share ideas and hard won knowledge as well as bring groups together

What is the opportunity?

Use the website (and technology in general) to encourage commonalities between groups, not differences

Insight 4

Groups need access to best practice and expert knowledge

What did we hear?

We want a way to connect groups with best practice (land management, marketing, group governance, online tools)

What is the opportunity?

Create an intelligent platform that connects people to best practice resources

Insight 5

The website must be easy to use, otherwise people won’t use it

What did we hear?

The current gateway is organised from the perspective of the bureaucracy, not members. It has to be easy to find my group, easy to use, fast and easily viewable and usable on mobile phones.

What is the opportunity?

Reorganise the website to be focused on the group, not the region

Insight 6

Groups need a way to promote what they are doing

What did we hear?

We want to use the website to the reach the young and the time poor. Particularly those that don’t want to go to meetings to find out what is going on or get involved in time-consuming group governance. The ones that are motivated to take positive action in their community.

What is the opportunity?

Create a simple way to upload and share events and projects

Insight 7

Groups need to record their activities and share success stories

What did we hear?

We want a way to share our achievements and shout out to our community, family and friends about our positive actions. I want to show how my actions are making a future impact.

What is the opportunity?

Allow groups to curate the information they share on their own page

Major research outcome

The new gateway should operate as an ‘online facilitator’. It should facilitate cross-pollination between groups and actively educate and engage members, just like current facilitators do for the community.

We’d love to know what you think

We want to make sure adding and editing information is as easy as possible for everyone in the community. Whether you love it or think it could be improved, we want to hear from you.

Give us your feedback