Empowering Australians to understand their human rights

Australian Human Rights Commission

Empowering Australians to understand their human rights

Australian Human Rights Commission

Human rights are inherent to each of us and a part of daily life. But what do Australians really know about their rights? 

In Australia, human rights are protected by the Australian Human Rights Commission. The Commission (AHRC) provides a wealth of information across multiple digital platforms to empower Australians to exercise their rights. 

Connecting human rights to lived experiences

The AHRC came to Pollen for help to understand how effective and user-centric their websites were. They wanted to identify the challenges that people experience and gain clarity on information needs.


Using audience research to create archetypes

We designed a research study for two AHRC websites, HumanRights.gov.au and the ItStopsWithMe.humanrights.gov.au campaign site. Our goal was to explore usage patterns, identify challenges, and uncover potential opportunities.

Using the rich, deep insights from this research, we provided strategic recommendations for improving the user experience and developed audience archetypes.

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Tapping into AHRC expertise

Before we put together the research study, we wanted to learn from the AHRC. We invited nineteen AHRC staff members to share their experiences with us in co-creation workshops. These highly collaborative workshops provided critical insights on obstacles and prospects for staff, as well as organisational perspectives on audience needs, desires, and challenges. 

We combined what we learned from the AHRC with insights from pre-existing research and  Hotjar and Google Analytics data to create a robust baseline for research planning.


Achieving greater success through co-design

An AHRC project team was set up for each website and we worked closely with each team to ensure internal alignment. Together, we defined project goals, who to recruit, and internal assumptions to challenge. 

We then co-designed the unmoderated tests with the AHRC project teams before finalising and releasing them to our research participants.


Prioritising diversity and inclusivity in the recruitment process

We prioritised inclusivity and diversity when selecting research participants, ensuring they were representative of the key AHRC audiences across both websites. 

For the main AHRC site, we prioritised audience groups with the greatest breadth of customer needs and diversity in order to understand a wider landscape of experiences. 

The ItStopsWithMe.humanrights.gov.au campaign site had five clear distinct audience groups, all defined during earlier user research. We combined that detail with organisational audience knowledge to select the appropriate participants.


Enhancing user journeys and supporting comprehension

The research uncovered no major usability issues or blockers. What we found was that in general, research participants had low knowledge of human rights - but did want to learn. 

We recommended enhancing the information architecture by aligning it to key user needs - particularly those of people who want to improve their general knowledge of human rights and discrimination. In addition, the way that content is organised and structured could be made more relevant to personal contexts and lived experiences to better support comprehension and engagement.

The insights and recommendations of the audience research has enabled the AHRC to make informed, evidence-led decisions on where to next and what to prioritise. We’re proud to have contributed to work that will make a real difference in people’s lives.