We were engaged last year by The National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction to develop a web 'knowledgebase' platform, that they could directly populate with their research findings regarding alcohol and drug use in Australia.

Over the last year NCETA have populated the first major topic of the knowledgebase, Alcohol, with over 160 'frequently asked questions' relating to how Australians consume alcohol and what impacts this has on our society. The knowledgebase has recently been released to the public.

We developed a clean site design (including the logo), focusing on readability and clear navigation. The site is highly mobile responsive, as well as being 'retina ready', utilising SVG and CSS as much as possible. A side benefit of such goals is that the site is lightweight for browsers to download and fast to browse.

Accessibility was also a strong focus with this project, with us working to ensure that the site was well formatted and designed to meet appropriate accessibility guidelines.

The platform we developed allowed the NCETA team to directly add new FAQ pages, categories and sub-categories of questions themselves, including graphs, footnotes and tabular data. We utilised concrete5's 'composer' feature, to create a simple to complete form for the entry and modification of FAQs.

Placed graph images are automatically resized for quick display but can also be enlarged when clicked/tapped.

The entire site can be searched via the always available search box, but also browsed via the contextual navigation.

A custom page attribute type for Tabular Data

Some of the FAQs that NCETA had to place on the site included tabular data. We weren't content with asking NCETA staff to have to manually create HTML tables, we wanted to provide a much more streamlined way to enter this data, ensuring that it would present cleanly and constantly.

To achieve this we developed a custom page attribute type based on the jQuery plugin 'handsontable'. This plugin allows content from a spreadsheet to be directly cut and pasted into a grid, removing the need to have to build a table using WYSIWYG controls. 

The attribute when displayed in the composer appears like this to begin with:


After pasting some content, the table appears like this, but can be further edited:


The output from this attribute on the page is a plain HTML table, without any embedded formatting information. This then can be styled to match the site's theme, for example:


The attribute has the option to automatically merge cells if values are the same, making it suitable for product feature grids. We'll write up more about this add-on soon and release it on github. 

Controlling access

As NCETA continue with their research, they will populate the remaining three topics. On a technical level, we've used concrete5's permissions system to allow NCETA to add this new content whilst preventing the public from accessing it until it is ready for release.


As proud as we are to see a website we've set up used to create such a great resource, the strength of the website simply comes from the depth and breadth of research conducted by NCETA - it's an incredible wealth of information, and we congratulate them on this release.

Visit and explore the The National Alcohol & Drug Knowledgebase