State Revenue Office Background
Drupal Case Study

State Revenue Office of Victoria Australia

With Drupal widely used by the Australian Government, SRO decided to engage local Drupal agency partner Webplace to re-build the site as they required the experience of certified Developers for such a large platform.

The process started with a review of other tax and state government websites in Australia to see what had worked for them. Webplace conducted face-to-face interviews and workshops with the Australian Tax Office (ATO) and three other State Government departments to see whether their users preferred a task-based navigation, or to select their user-type first to simplify the options. Meeting the stakeholders in person allowed the team to discover and learn from mistakes others had made and ensure that SRO’s platform provided the best user experience possible.

The aims for the project that emerged were:

Users must be able to service themselves

The huge list of services and information had to be simplified by organising them into groups

Content must be easy to understand and make sense for people who aren’t tax professionals


To achieve these aims, Webplace grouped SRO’s services by the persona of the user and ordered information to follow the most likely journey a user would go through. Copywriters also simplified the content so sentences were simple to read on mobile devices and easy to comprehend.

With a hybrid of user-type and task-based navigation, users were given the option to select one of the most common tasks which appear in the middle of the screen (eg. Apply for a first home-owner grant, lodge payroll tax) or select their identity in the menu above to have the list below personalised.

To simplify complex information, short videos were produced to explain what users were entitled to and what information they needed to supply. Custom iconography was added to make it faster to identify the right section and make the site more pleasant to view.

The Drupal CMS allowed the site to support more than one thousand pages grouped into fifteen content types. With a responsive design, it also complied with the Victorian Government WoVG standard and WCAG 2.0 Level AA.

State Revenue Office Background


The online self service option saved SRO more than A$40 for every person who no longer required over-the-counter service, a significant cost benefit. People were much more engaged with the new site, with major improvements in bounce rate and file downloads indicating the new platform was significantly easier to use.

The developers were awarded several prizes from Australia’s premier industry group, The Australian Web Awards. They included Best Government Website (National), Best Government Website (Victoria) and top award The McFarlane Prize.

State Revenue Office Background

When it’s time to complete their tax return, hundreds of thousands of citizens in the Australian state of Victoria need to consult the State Revenue Office (SRO). The department’s role is to administer state taxes, duties, levies and benefits, however with no online self service option they were no longer meeting the community’s needs in the digital age. Originally designed for desktop PCs, the site also provided a poor user experience for the high proportion of users visiting on tablets and smartphones.
State Revenue Office Screenshot

Facts & Figures

  • Google Analytics data from 1 July - 31 August (tax time) in the year preceding and following the site launch:
  • Bounce Rate -22.6%
  • Form and Publication Downloads +94.3%
  • Mobile Visitors +11.4%
  • User Sessions (approx. 750,000 unique visitors) +4.9%
  • Average Session Duration +6.3%

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