Information architecture. New, improved and informed by user research

It’s been a while since we blogged on here but work’s been ticking along nicely and we’re now at the point where we’ll look around for a supplier to make our new site.

A look at our Google Analytics showed users weren’t exploring the site much and one of the things out of a survey we ran confirmed that users wanted us to improve the website navigation.
So simplifying some of the names of the bits of the website, we ran what’s called a card sort which is the online equivalent of sorting a bunch of titles of website sections written on post it notes, into piles people think they should be organised. About 50 users completed it and some clear patterns emerged.
With that, we drafted a new information architecture or IA for short (site map to you and me which is a diagram that shows how the site is organised) but to double check it we ran another online exercise called a tree jack, again with 50 users, this time setting a series of questions such as ‘you want information on caring for a patient’ and the participants would tell us where they’d expect to find the content. If users’ answers were in line with what we had on the new IA, happy days. If not, some tweaks would be needed.
The result of the tree jack were pretty much identical to the card sort so the IA remains unchanged other than a few links to other areas of the site. As per the picture. For example some of the fundraising stuff, 50% of the tree jack participants said they’d expect to find it in ‘donate’. As is common on charity sites, donate is intended literally for people to make a donation there and then, but on that page we should definitely link to the fundraising bit in ‘get involved’.
New IA for Dorothy House?
So that’s us so far. Next stop making the alpha. Once the requirement document is written and supplier appointed, making the alpha will be quick and simple, but something to test with everyone to check things are heading in the right direction.


(Republished from Dorothy House Digital blog.)


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