Allen Public Library has requested assistance in re-designing the information architecture of their website. As it stands, the website is outdated, and the director is concerned about the organization of content on the website and how accessible it is for users to find content. They’re in need of a content analysis and a new labeling system. The goal for this project is to learn about what the user needs and design the site architecture with those needs at the forefront.
My Role: UX Architect/Content Designer & Writer
- Conducted SME interviews and a literature review at local library
- Established user personas & functional requirements (priority tasks) for the website
- Performed a content inventory & analysis to support the functional requirements
- Developed a revised site map, based on a hybrid classification scheme
- Tested the labeling & taxonomy of the revised site map with real users, using Treejack
- Revised the labeling & taxonomy further to create wireframes of the home page and key user workflows
- Presented findings and final designs to stakeholders
For this project, two interviews were conducted with librarian staff, in an effort to learn about their online users. Additionally, a literature review was performed where an article was discovered by the Pew Research Center. This article served as a second resource for uncovering user motivations. Based on the research results, I developed key user personas and a task priority list, also known as functional requirements for the website.
1. Why do users visit the library website? What are they trying to do?
2. What are some of the questions you typically hear from library website users?
3. Are there any issues with the current website that users tend to run into?
4. What information do they search for most often? Are there any common themes you've noticed among online users?
5. Can you describe the most common user types that you see during the day? Age range, occupation, gender etc.
6. What kinds of tasks can users perform on a library website?
"Library users will often ask how to place books on hold, request holds from other libraries and how to download e-books onto their devices."
- Interview 1
User personas represent real users of the library website, based on research findings. They aid the design team in making decisions that support the motivations and needs of the target users. I developed two primary users and one secondary user shown below.
Task Priority Table
Below is a table that showcases the priority tasks discovered in this study and how they correlate with the needs of the defined user personas (target users).
Content Inventory & Analysis
After defining the functional requirements (priority tasks) for this website re-design, I conducted a content inventory. I created an overview of the current website content and analyzed it page by page. Based on the user personas and functional requirements, I was able to see what needs to be reworked, what content can remain and where we can remove content that isn’t serving the user’s goals.
The content inventory below showcases the analysis and break down of the Allen Public Library website. Content was categorized by color, which corresponds to the task priority level.
Revised Navigation Structure & Site Map
Based on the research findings and content analysis, I propose to use a hybrid classification scheme. A hybrid scheme is where we utilize multiple classification schemes without compromising the integrity of each scheme. The priority will be to present the schemes separately on each page, so that the user can form a clear mental model to navigate the site. The primary schemes will be topical and audience-based schemes, for the various user types. The three audience types we’ll be targeting are parents, children and retirees.
Testing the new Labeling & Taxonomy
During this phase, the revised labeling system and taxonomy were put to the test with real users through a Treejack study. View results from that study in the slideshow below.
Five participants were recruited and asked to complete a series of tasks through TreeJack. These tasks were chosen based on the initial functional requirements that were pulled from user interviews and personas.
Final Wireframe Sketches
After implementing the recommendations to the labeling system, I sketched wireframe designs for the final revision of the home page and high-priority user workflows, which can be viewed below. I assembled all of the deliverables from this project into one final proposal to be presented to stakeholders.
Logo in top left corner will always link back to the home page
When user hovers over primary navigation buttons, mega menus will drop down showing subcategories
The next step would be to translate the sketched wireframes into digital mid-fidelity or high-fidelity wireframes.
Possibly conduct one round of usability testing at this stage.
Upon approval from stakeholders, I would collaborate with development to implement the changes on the backend.