The Saltland Genie

Situation

Australian farmers are battling salinity on an ever increasing scale. They need access to the latest salinity research information to make informed decisions that directly impact the working and profitability of their farms. The Future Farms Industries CRC (FFI) has the answers farmers seek, and asked us to help them get it to farmers on a large scale.

Insights

Insight one: We knew that in its raw textual form the detailed content and would not work well online; it needed restructuring.
Insight two: We understood that we could remove the need for farmers to read 400+ pages before working out what Saltland solutions would work for them.
Insight Three: Farmers needed guidance in the use of the system and information.

Solution

We therefore created the Saltland genie portal with three key features:

  1. Restructured content including the use of a University and courses metaphor, a familiar structure that makes large quantities of information less intimidating
  2. The creation of a sophisticated decision tool that emulated a consulting process and identified potential Saltland solutions
  3. The inclusion of the genie which helped guide and inform site visitors

Outcomes

Farmers in Australia using the Saltland genie site can access vast amounts of valuable and validated research and knowledge, and find help to make decisions that directly improve profitability on their farms through the management of Saltland. Over the last year the website has catered for 75,000 visits, the search engine friendly site attains high visitation around the term 'alinity'. Interaction levels are high with over 50,000 resources downloaded in the last year. The decision tool and other interactive features have been used over 1700 times. Intelligence and trends, for example that a particular solution to salty land stands out head and shoulders above the others, or that soil testing is a key issue, can easily be derived from the website usage statistics.

"User friendly, thorough and very impressive". "The website is one of a new generation of online land management tools that allows users to quickly get the answers and the follow up information they need" - Warren Mason - Project leader