User research allows us to improve our information structures in ways that are helpful to the people using the structure. When we work with clients who are new to user research, they need to know what the process of user research is like and what to expect as an outcome.
Many projects fail because they don’t engage the right stakeholders early enough in the process. When we want to learn about project goals, we engage managers and directors, or those accountable for the success of the project. There are two phases to this work: one-on-one interviews and workshops.
Often, we hear, “We want to make the process better, we just don’t know how.” The secret to business process improvement is to know what your process are now so that you can change them. Said another way, if you don’t know what your actual process is, then you won’t know if the changes you make to the process will be successful.
One thing that's been around for a while but is rarely taken advantage of but can be liberating. When we explain the concept to clients, they typically respond with, "Yes, that's what we need. That's what we've been waiting for. Where have you been all my life? You had me at hello!!"
Information architecture may seem overwhelming. It may seem not significant enough to reassess. But a lot of common usability problems are associated with a poor IA. Improving this essential aspect of your information structure is helpful for both your users, your business, and for ensuring that your information structures support your key business goals.
When looking to improve the searchability on your website or intranet or in your CMS or DAM, there are a few areas where you can look to solve searchability problems. This second part in a two-part series focuses on solving searchability problems.
Combining multiple taxonomies can be a contentious issue: each taxonomy belongs to a team who has put a lot of thought into their taxonomy and may not easily let go of certain terms or features. However, sometimes taxonomies do need to be combined, and here are some tips on how to go through the process.
While you recognize that your company needs a website taxonomy or intranet taxonomy, you may not be sure how to convince management to provide resources to create, implement, and maintain a taxonomy. Here are some tips.
If you’re working on a taxonomy that doesn’t have the resources (right now) to do a lot of research and engagement with subject matter experts, there are still some actionable steps you can take to improve your taxonomy.
After going through numerous taxonomy projects, I've learned a few things about how to work with stakeholders and subject matter experts to build a website taxonomy. Here is a presentation with a few tips for making the taxonomy development process smoother.
One of the easiest ways to explain how taxonomy works is to show examples of taxonomy. Here are a few examples of how website taxonomy can be used to improve search results, browse by category, and automatically build pages on a website.
When I take clients through the process of usability testing, they have some typical questions at the beginning of the process. How does usability testing work? How do we make sure everything is set up properly? How do we recruit users?
Here’s an overview of what to expect as you go through the process of preparing for usability testing.
On the surface, audience based navigation seems to make sense. After a few attempts at audience based navigation, here are our lessons learned. and quickly learned a few things (after an immense amount of frustration).
When improving a website or intranet (or any content product), you can focus on findability with an IA review and assessment and with card sorting and task testing. This article focuses on how to improve findability through card sorting.
Keeping a taxonomy up-to-date will be very useful in re-purposing content on the site, tagging content properly so you can find it again, and allowing visitors to filter the content. Learn about why and how to use a taxonomy.