Cultural institution Website redesign with a user-centered approach.
A cultural institution wants to redesign its website so that users can find, understand and share information about its activities in a more logical and attractive way.
Lead UX design
The goal was to allow a more organized and simple access through a new information architecture, an intuitive navigation system and a clearer and more aesthetic appearance. To highlight practical information for attending an event in person or online, and to integrate the website’s extensive archive.
I laid the groundwork for the project together with the stakeholders on the principle of honesty and clarity. The pillars would be: clarity, ease of use and aesthetics.
The framework chosen was Design Thinking, for its ability to solve real user problems in a functional and affordable way.
I began by researching secondary sources of information on the state of the market, such as the Museums Audience Report, and conducted a benchmarking analysis of other institutions in the sector.
I led the user research process, studying insights coming from the analytics of website visits up to that point. Together with information gathered from email comments, preference surveys and feedback from physical visitors, I began to determine the needs of the audience.
I created user personas to represent typical users of the institution’s events, and defined user stories and user journeys for them. I also conducted user and stakeholders interviews, user tests and card sorting.
One of the problems identified was that users found it difficult to share or save for later the information about a particular event they were interested in, as they were organized in series on a single page. There was also the fact that the large archive of the website was not sufficiently displayed and was hidden to many users, who were unaware of its existence.
The solution I came up with was a page for the series that served as a container for the events, while each event had its own individual page, easily shareable and saveable, and with links to the series page to access the general information.
I also integrated materials from other sections by displaying them as related content in a way that was natural and inviting to the user.
I performed a heuristic analysis and conducted guerrilla testing of early prototypes with colleagues and friends to get feedback as quickly as possible. I immediately involved the Technology department and the stakeholders most committed to the UX approach and refined the mockups. I then developed working prototypes that I could show to the other stakeholders, made the necessary adjustments and oversaw the implementation by Technology.
I came up with a model that prioritized the user by unifying basic information on a single page and encouraged discovery through cross-selling blocks of information. I left out distracting and non-valuable visual elements and excessively long blocks of text, and minimized the number of interactions required.
To improve the user experience both on the web and during the on-site visit, the design gave visibility to the calendar of activities, physical and online visit information, and digital media.
The result was an aesthetically pleasing and functional website with reduced user interaction cost. Stakeholders were delighted with the design, user feedback was positive and the result was confirmed by subsequent user testing and web analytics data.
Card sorting tests were better matched to the new architecture and tree tests resulted in a 58% improvement in findability of a particular act with the new system.
In the following months, I conducted continuous monitoring to capture new user data, confirm the positive trend, and make adjustments as necessary to maintain the improvement over time.
Design: Aurelio Medina