Case Study: Website usability testing with Pollen


For Australian workers, the last few years have been challenging. COVID-19, bushfires, floods, and drought have had a significant impact on many Australian workplaces and the mental health of their employees.  

To encourage mentally healthy workplaces, the National Mental Health Commission (NMHC) commissioned the creation of the Mentally Health Workplaces platform. The aim of the platform is to provide central, easy-to-access information for all Australians  

The Challenge: 

Digital agency Pollen was commissioned by NMHC to create the platform. Pollen wanted to ensure it was accessible and usable before it was communicated to the public. They wanted to work with an organisation with expertise in accessibility, usability, user testing, and connections to edge communities.  

They chose to engage Centre for Inclusive Design. The team was tasked with providing feedback on the website’s accessibility and to test the user experience with people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, with lived experience of disability and First Nations users.  


In the first phase of the project, Centre for Inclusive Design’s consultants completed a heuristics review of the website. A heuristic review is a method for identifying issues in an interface. Our consultants use past knowledge and research to identify barriers to inclusion.  

The findings from the review were positive and highlighted the website was on solid foundations. It reflected the work Pollen had done toward the website’s accessibility and inclusivity. The review, however, did raise some issues, which could lead to barriers to inclusion.  

The next phase involved usability testing sessions with seven participants from edge communities, to validate the review findings through the lens of lived experience. In a usability session, participants were asked to complete typical tasks and observations were made about how a person with diverse lived experience and specific accessibility needs uses the website.  

With consent from the participants, user experience designers from Pollen were invited to sit in on the sessions to further their understanding around accessibility and inclusivity. Pollen found, ‘It was interesting to see how what we thought was quite a straightforward process was quite complex for people with screen readers’.   

The feedback from the participants was largely positive. Some areas needing improvement were identified. Our consultants took the Pollen team through these findings and explained how implementing changes would create a more inclusive, intuitive, and accessible website experience. 

Outcomes and benefits:  

By combining Centre for Inclusive Design’s expertise with insights from edge users, Pollen received the information it needed to create an inclusive website for all Australians to access. With Pollen on the journey, its team now has a greater awareness of why accessibility is important, and what to consider next time.  

Here is what Pollen had to say for anyone considering engaging Centre for Inclusive Design, ‘You will not regret it…there is always something to learn about inclusion…working with the Centre is valuable in many ways…they give you more than the outcome you were hoping for and beyond your purpose of engagement.