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Department of Trade and Investment South Australia

DTI partnered with Katalyst to promote trade and investment in South Australia.

The Department of Trade and Investment (DTI), a key player in South Australia's economic growth, understands the critical role of digital communication in connecting businesses, investors, and the community. Seeking to reimagine its online engagement, DTI partnered with Katalyst, known for expertise in working with government agencies and recognised internationally for achievements in UX design on government projects. Katalyst worked together with DTI to develop a content platform, specifically tailored to engage DTI's diverse audience segments. This initiative marked a milestone in DTI’s journey towards digital excellence, aiming to reshape the way trade and investment communications are delivered by the agency.


In this project, DTI was confronted with multifaceted challenges, including the absence of a detailed project specification brief. Recognising these complexities, DTI worked together with Katalyst, drawing on their combined expertise to collaboratively craft the right approach. This partnership focused on addressing the project's communication needs and navigating its challenges together.

Diverse Audience Communication

A unique challenge of this project was the need for DTI to effectively communicate to three audiences, each with vastly different communication objectives.

  • Investment Communications: Focusing on opportunities for external investors, this channel aimed to present South Australia as an attractive investment destination. It needed to communicate the state's potential, connect investors with the right opportunities, and facilitate seamless communication between parties.

  • Trade Communications: This channel targeted local businesses and outside buyers interested in South Australian exports. It needed to showcase export opportunities, offer support programs, and connect businesses with export advisors and regional contacts.

  • Public Information: As a government agency, DTI requires a platform to share departmental information, current activities, and news related to trade and investment in South Australia. This channel served as an essential resource for the public and stakeholders to stay informed.

Katalyst needed to develop a unified and cohesive user experience across these distinct communication channels, despite their diverse functionalities and target audiences.

Content segmentation and personalisation

A central aspect of this project was the development of three distinct websites —Invest, Export, and DTI— each designed with unique communication objectives in mind. The project needed to deliver a single content management system with targeted communications to each audience segment. DTI also wanted to provide content personalisation enabling users to curate their content feeds based on individual preferences and interests, ensuring a more engaging and relevant user experience.

Public service standards, security, and accessibility 

As a government agency project, strict adherence to regulatory frameworks and standards was required. It was essential for the project to meet all public service criteria, particularly in terms of accessibility, security, and privacy, aligning with the South Australian government's digital guidelines. The solution had to be accessible to users of all abilities, provide a modern user experience (UX), present clear and uncluttered communication, and be mobile-responsive. 


The Solution

Katalyst delivered a bespoke solution for DTI, encompassing a thorough analysis and iterative development process. This solution was specifically tailored to DTI's unique needs.

Discovery and Requirement Analysis

Starting with the discovery phase, Katalyst analysed the project requirements, including user behaviour, content, and functionality. Through collaborative workshops, Katalyst and DTI delved into how the project goals could be translated into an effective digital experience. These sessions led to actionable improvements, particularly in simplifying site navigation and enhancing search functionality.

Development Approach

The project was guided by Agile Scrum methodology, allowing for flexibility and responsiveness to changing requirements and user feedback. This dynamic approach facilitated the continuous integration of DTI stakeholder input throughout the development phase.

Purpose-built Content Management System 

The solution utilised KOI content management system (CMS) designed by Katalyst as an adaptable and scalable platform designed for rapid development of custom web applications. 

This provided a flexible and scalable scaffold for creating and managing content and comprehensive customisation to align with DTI's project specifications and third-party tool integration. Within this CMS, four distinct websites were developed: Invest in SA, Export from SA, the DTI website, and the ConnectPlus site, all featuring interconnected and globally searchable content.

Katalyst designed a unique information architecture to optimise content tagging and availability across the websites. A specialised content-authoring workflow was developed for DTI, featuring publishing tools such as draft reviews and draft sharing without system logins to support feedback from a wider range of stakeholders. 
The CMS supports geolocation for displaying location-specific content. For example, the Invest website integrates maps with content, showing location-based investment opportunities. When looking at regional offices on the trade website, the news displayed is specific to the region. 

Another feature included is campaign landing pages with integrated marketing analytics, allowing DTI to design and deploy targeted digital marketing pages that don’t display the menus, headers, and footers. 

Invest in SA Website

The Invest in SA website is a comprehensive showcase of investment opportunities across South Australia. It's designed for investors to easily navigate and explore different sectors of interest. Each sector is represented on its page, detailing unique opportunities and services, and facilitating direct contact with industry experts.
Local businesses are encouraged to engage with potential investors through the ConnectPlus portal. This begins with registering their project in the DTI investment catalogue, initiating a multi-stage approval workflow. Throughout this process, DTI collaborates with businesses to fine-tune their proposals, ensuring they meet investor expectations in detail and data. Businesses have the option to set their project visibility to either public, where anyone can view full details, or private, requiring specific approval for access. Project owners also have the flexibility to edit and resubmit their projects for further review.

Export from SA Website

This website is tailored to promote South Australia's trade opportunities, targeting both local exporters, interstate buyers, and international buyers. It offers programs to stimulate trade, such as 'Getting Export Ready' to assist local businesses in preparing for export, and 'Export Expansion' to help established exporters find grants and services. Buyers can browse export opportunities that provide relevant contacts, such as export advisors who help initiate trade discussions and regional office contacts based on geolocation.

Personalised portal - ConnectPlus

DTI wanted to provide aggregated content personalised to the needs of each user which led to the development of ConnectPlus - a unique portal within the DTI ecosystem, offering personalised content curation based on individual user preferences in trade and investment. Users can customise their experience by selecting areas of interest, leading to a tailored feed of programs, resources, grants, sector-specific news, and key contacts from DTI’s global network.
ConnectPlus integrates business workflows, enabling local businesses to submit investment projects. These projects are then featured on the Invest in SA website, gaining valuable exposure to a broad investor audience. This feature not only enhances the visibility of local projects but also facilitates meaningful connections between businesses and potential investors.


The project features several key integrations to enhance user experience and functionality. Maps integration visually displays geographically relevant content such as investment opportunities. The site integrates with marketing analytics for in-depth campaign analysis and optimisation. User access is integrated with OAuth (Open Authentication) simplifies user access while maintaining high security standards, enabling secure and convenient logins to the ConnectPlus portal using familiar credentials like Google or LinkedIn.

Accessibility, privacy, and security 

Accessibility is a high priority for government websites, recognising the importance of making government services available to people of all abilities. Katalyst worked closely with DTI to ensure that the new website met accessibility standards. The system was developed in compliance with government security framework, web standards, and privacy requirements. This compliance extends to the ICT security protocols and the South Australian Cyber Security Framework (SACSF), reinforcing the site's robustness in protecting user data and privacy.

A partnership built on trust

Throughout the project, Katalyst faced and overcame challenges associated with multiple changes in key project staff, a common situation in large-scale projects. These transitions, which could have significantly disrupted the project's progress, were managed effectively through Katalyst’s partnership ethos of building trust with client organisations at all levels. Acting as a steadfast guide, Katalyst ensured the project's continuity and success while staff at DTI transitioned on the project, without compromising the project's direction or momentum.

The Outcome

The launch of the new DTI website marked a milestone in improving agency communications and engagement, garnering positive feedback from users and stakeholders. Its improved navigation, enhanced search functionality, and streamlined content organisation made it easier for users to find key information. Agile methodology utilised by Katalyst facilitated a dynamic, collaborative environment with DTI, delivering the project on time and within budget. 

The KOI content management system provides a scalable asset for DTI, offering content management across multiple websites through a unified interface. This system's flexibility was particularly evident when BrandSA joined the DTI agency portfolio. Non-technical staff were able to execute extensive content reorganisation across DTI's websites seamlessly, eliminating the need for specialised technical expertise.

The new DTI website stands as a testament to successful collaboration and innovative digital strategy. It serves as a user-friendly, efficient platform that significantly advances DTI's mission to promote trade and investment within South Australia.

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