Redesigning the Homepage & Information Architecture.
I started my UX Research from the Analysis of some existing Universities Websites, after a general Overview concerning all the info I started to develop a strategy for the next steps.
The Competitive Analysis was a basic part during the Research since it helped me to understand the weaknesses of NUS homepage compared to the others Universities.
We had 3 Personas with their relative characteristics, they spread from the “Prospective Student” to the “Experienced Professional”.
Admission & Aid Infos from Undergraduate to Continuing Education Courses, Housing, Schedules of Upcoming Events, Career Section & Contatcs
General Pain Points:
Major for Undergraduate, Extra Curricula Activities, Class Feedbacks and Students Forums, Fees and costs, scheduled calendar of classes.
Building an Affinity Map and Analysing the Trends helped me to understand a common problem for the Personas was the lack of “interactive tools” and a general difficulty in accessing and findings some topics in a relative short time with few navigation clicks.
I understood I had to proceed with a Task Analysis to discover any problems concerning the actual navigation and in parallel a Card Sorting Test in order to validate how efficiently the contents were organized and structured in the main home page Menu
I found a Common problem in almost all the Task Analysis related to our Personas and I used “The Prospective Student” as an example and guideline for the strategy development.
Mark: “Finding On Campus Housing”
The “Search and Redirection” problem came out so I start focusing on it as it was perceived painful by Mark and the other Personas.
With the card sorting process I tried to undertsand how the users perceived the website and if the existing CMS and Site Mapping were functional for the tasks a new or an existing User could face.
The first Card Sorting has been conceived as a closed one.
I provided the Buckets as per upper home page Menu header and approxitamely 40 -45 cards related to the existing subcategories.
In the second round I did the same closed card sorting process.
The bucket were the same as the First Round but the contents changed based on the 3 Persona profiles creating some contents-tasks based on their needs.
After the Results Review I did a Step back and I merged all the info I collected during my Research in order to do a Prioritisation of the features and Re Design process.
Renaming, Main Menu Spring Cleaning, New Layout + Interactive Features
Some other Research sessions confirmed my thesis and the Card Sorting Test results;
the Acronyms used in the actual Reserach Section (SRP, SMP, PIPP) were never related to Education and Science terminology on any of the Acronym Dictionaries.
Another Card Sorting result was confirmed comparing the NUS interpretation and usage of Research and Outreach terms and Sections.
On the existing Menu the terms appear next to each other as different sections with the relatives Subcategories, on the Boston University and on many others this terms tends to be combined togheter and they appear as a single category.
In order to add all the new elements the original Layout changed in a more vertical one cause of the Interactive Tools presence on the right part of the Home Page.
At the end of the Restyling process if we take into consideration the “Mark finding On Campus Housing” info on the homepage we can see how the “Search and Redirection” issue has been solved, the Task now can be accomplished in 3 different ways between 2–4 clicks.
Usability Testing and Heuristic Analysis
I conducted a round of Usability Test and Heuristic Test evaluation analysing the Feedbacks the Users gave me.
“Easy to access the interactive features as they are positioned in the home page”
“Site Map page layout has too be less technical”
“Double Scrolling system for the Supporting Content is hard to develop and confusing for the user navigation”
“Accomplished a task in 3 different ways (housing)”
“Try to verticalise the layout even more than the actual one”
“Still presence of ambiguos terms” (Safety and facilities for Housing Task)
I started the Medium-High level Design and I created an InVision Prototype based on the feedbacks I received after the first Usability Test with the intention to run a second round and Iterate the process.
The previous Non-Responsive mobile version has been translated in a more friendly and responsive one inspired by the new desktop version.
Next steps will be: