User survey does not equal a free lunch, it turns out

We’ve spent the last few weeks conducting a survey to understand what people need and want from our website. The survey was incentivised with a free lunch at Guyer’s House(kindly donated by the hotel) but it seems the most responses came when we just asked for help.

Anyhow, the data’s in and shows some interesting patterns. Notably that the content the survey respondents told us was most important doesn’t correlate with what Google Analytics shows had the most traffic. This suggests that there’s work to be done to help users find content which should be fixed with improved navigation and site layout, as well as writing with Google in mind as so much traffic come from it.

To be sure, we’ll do some 1:1 interviews with some respondents who offered to help out with more research, the final piece – the comprehension part – of this puzzle. For now anyway.

user research triangle: Triangle showing 3 points of user research: Attitude, Behaviour, Comprehension

Triangle showing 3 points of user research: 1. Attitude (gleaned from user surveys), 2. Behaviour (gleaned from web stats) and 3, Comprehension (gleaned from interviews and the rest).

(Republished from Dorothy House’s blog)

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As Les Dennis would say, ‘Our survey said’

To get our heads around overhauling our website, we’ve had a first pass at auditing the content, looking at page titles and meta data initially as well as visitor stats. That data has helped us create an up-to-date site map but also colour code each item dependant on the traffic to create a ‘heat map site map’.

Dorothy House site map / heat map

It shows that:

  • Users don’t delve too far into the site, either from Google or by navigating when they arrive. A common problem for an old site that hasn’t kept pace with technology.
  • ‘Home’, ‘recruitment’ and ‘contact’ are our busiest pages. Maybe because they rank first on Google and also for ‘contact’, because maybe users would rather speak to the phone.

So we know more about what’s hot and what’s not, we’re finding out about the why, so we’ve just launched a survey to get the ball rolling. After then we’ll do more user testing to make better the way the site is organised and designed.

Whilst responses roll in, we’re looking deeper into on and off page search engine optimisation and also collecting examples of websites we think are good, that we could learn from. Those examples will be stuck to that space on the right in the pic. Any ideas?

(My blog republished from Dorothy House Digital)

Tweeting again early evening

Just before Christmas, you may have seen a quick poll asking whether @ONS should repost tweets at 5pm in case anyone missed them earlier in the day. 153 votes were cast and support is clearly in favour of doing something.

@ONS poll on whether to tweet again early evening

Wanting to make sure whatever we do works for the majority, each day we’ll auto schedule a few choice tweets again at 1730 for those that missed them earlier in the day. Alternatively, if you’d like them all at the end of the day, you can sign up to our email service.

As always, thoughts very much welcome.

(My blog republished from ONS Digital Publishing blog.)