Solutions: Scale, Scope, Agenda
Based on our initial evaluation of the legacy website, we already have a thumbnail impression of what’s good, what’s not and what’s missing – as well as a sense of what we need to do about each.
- What’s good : Keep it, though possibly rearrange it
- What’s not : Fix it
- What’s missing : Find it, add it, create it
What’s Good: Reorganize it
This re-design isn’t just a new coat of paint. If that were the case, we could proceed directly to “low-hanging fruit” (see below). In addition to the surface presentational fixes, we’re looking to take the existing collateral and reconfigurehow it is presented.
Reorganization of the structure of information is the heart of UX.
Restructuring is reflected in the Navigation MenuBar. Here are a couple of basic ground rules:
- Menubar labels should be clear & simple
- Fewer = better
And here’s how I suggest we apply it to our site:
What We Do Projects, examples
Most new visitors will go to view these active, short, practical project “stories” first, then go view the philosophical policy rationale as a follow-up. Not the other way around. The Projects are the focus of interest. Policy & organizational structure – in most cases – are secondary.
Why We Do It Mission, Initiatives, Agenda, History
The ‘why’ justifies our actions logically. But – perhaps even more importantly – it reinforces affinity with the audience. History establishes credibility and integrity.
Who We Are Personnel, governing Board, Sponsors, Partners
This is the face of the organization. It’s an opportunity to personalize and tell the story.
How It Happens Calendar of Upcoming Events, Collateral, Press
The Calendar identifies opportunities toparticipate, Collateral offers things to do, Press and News are talking points. This is where ‘the rubber meets the road” as regards audience interest. All provide traction to action – direct engagement with the site visitor.
Reconfigure Donate and Contact Us as branded Call-to-Action buttons, rather than navigation menu items.
Turning these into action buttons both makes organizational sense and gives these critical CTA’s appropriate emphasis.
What’s Not Good : Let’s make the Quick Fixes
The Usual Suspects
Legacy Issues usually identify some of the “low-hanging fruit” that we can deal with fairly quickly. These are often cosmetic changes which can be addressed presentationally, rather thanstructurally;
Here are a few issues that are unique to our site:
Currently our strongest, most communicative taglines are lost in the verbiage. Statements like these should be hilited, repeated, and front & center. These punchy statements can also serve as a Call to Action.
Headline labels like “Delivering Health Education” and “Informing Policy” may be technically correct, but they aren’t very informative or compelling
The deadliness of “-ing. Every time you give something an “-ing” label, you’ve made yourselves in-active. Instead, say: “We educate”, “We influence” (or We advocate)
Homepage: Limited attention span
7 slides in a 5-second autoscroll is too long, too slow, and in the wrong order. A slideshow of 3-4 panels works better. Try different slideshow versions to keep it fresh and also to highlight different aspects of our message.
Media Hits (and Misses)
Media pieces are powerful – and potentially dangerous.
- Quantity: Our “Media” pages are over-engineered, unnecessarily data-heavy and slooooooooow, as a result – because they attempt to present all the media at once.
- Quality: We have an animation that is charming, informational, short and accessible. It should be front & center. Even an important message is lost if it’s not viewed.
- Relevance: Nobody actually comes to our site because they want to “see some media”. They are interested in a topic. And the media are of interest only if they are relevant to that topic. Grouping all the media pieces together “because they’re media” makes little sense.
Attention span = short. Especially for media. Let’s guide ourselves accordingly. BTW: Everything on the site is media … of some sort.
What’s Missing : Discovery and Surprise
FAQ’s (answers to “the usual suspects” questions) First-time visitors often use FAQ’s as a “fastTrack” to engagement – and they also provide context for the novice. + Add this section to the topmenu
There should be at least 10 or so FAQ’s. In addition to a brief explanation, they also point to the relevant page/section on the site. FAQ’s and “factoids” should be branded and presented on pages of the site as accessible information snippets.
The Content Inventory often leads to the discovery of “hidden treasure” – collateral that’s incredibly valuable, but is hard to find.
Sometimes the hidden treasure is hidden on the website. Often it’s “cross channel” – information that resides elsewhere (as a brochure, in a fact sheet).
I began the JobBlog engagement in mid-May of 2015. These articles had attracted a total of 763 Views and 43 Likes on LinkedIn by the time they were compiled on August 16 2015.
(c) copyright John Vaughan / The Communication Studio