Project Ask

UCLA Anderson's graduate business school has a website that provides a wide range of helpful information to prospective, current, and alumni students. They needed a strong Information Architect to create a more efficient wayfinding experience as many users reported having difficulty in finding information.

MY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Lead IA and content strategy
  • Mentor a UX Designer on IA and content techniques
  • Create a finalized sitemap and navigation UI recommendation

CHALLENGES

  • Budget could not include copywriting, card sorting, and tree testing
  • Five levels deep navigation with an overwhelming amount of relevant and irrelevant content
  • Modifying content was sensitive to other departments within the school

Approach

MEDIUM

Desktop, Mobile

TECHNIQUES

  1. Content Auditing & Analysis
  2. Competitive Analysis
  3. Content Organization
  4. Sitemap
  5. Navigation Design

Process

I met with stakeholders and discussed a content organization approach to solve the actual source of user's issues. I then audited the website's navigation structure and summarized the intent of each page's content.

     Two current side navigations—this is only 25% of the site navigation!

 

Two current side navigations—this is only 25% of the site navigation!

After, I conducted a competitive analysis on several business school websites and analyzed how they organized content and labeled sections. With the competitive analysis' results, I created an initial sitemap and spent time revising the structure and iterating with the client multiple times--this included consolidating content, eliminating content not relevant to user tasks, providing copywriting direction, and guiding the client through difficult content changes.

       Top level navigation of the entire UCLA Anderson website (blurred to protect client work)

 

 

Top level navigation of the entire UCLA Anderson website (blurred to protect client work)

Lastly, I provided concept recommendations for revamping the design of the navigation UI to support the new sitemap and ensure scalability of future tiers in navigation.

 Three scalable navigation UI concepts to support future tiers of navigation

Three scalable navigation UI concepts to support future tiers of navigation

Results

  • Successfully navigated the client toward a content design approach which addressed the real issues
  • Avoided causing political conflicts with modifying sensitive content--made everyone happy with the end result
  • Although it was a small budget, provided a scalable solution along with more value than the client was expecting