Designing navigation

How this began…

130,000 members across 500 public sector organisations
rely on a community platform to share resources and knowledge.
There were fundamental issues around the navigation and organisation of information which had to be addressed.We needed a way to get clearer details around what these issues were, and fairly quickly identify our priority improvements before committing too heavily into any design and development effort.

tw_nav01

Approach

I planned to use prototyping to explore and uncover key insights. I had about three weeks to discover what the key issues were, test some assumptions with people currently using the software and return with recommendations that could be put into our design work.
I knew it was important to bring concrete ideas into testing, as the software already existed, and content would remain largely unchanged, so I set about mapping out the current architecture and evaluating the priority user flows, which would form what I needed to prototype.

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Proposed key task for checking in and contributing to the group, that would be validated in research discussions

Supported by a junior designer we created the priority flows and began sketching out the navigation candidates to be taken forward into prototyping.

usertesting

Including ideas for mobile content in addition to the navigation testing

We took two viable options for the new navigation, to a busy team at a local government department in Edinburgh.

tw_taskflow_2

Completing tasks and finding content was nearly two times quicker in one navigation.

Result

Using a combination of task completion rate and evaluating recorded responses post discussions, there was one clear winner.

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Navigation designs featured in later design cycles were informed by earlier testing

In addition to this, the research had generated new insights into behaviours this group of people had shown, which were not currently being supported. These features were rapidly sketched up and shared with the rest of the team to be included in later design and build cycles.