What are people looking for?
Help with mortgage foreclosure
How do I …
What are people doing?
Main topics hit in the last month:
What are they finding?
Sections of state websites on those
Some linking to sites outside of
Some empty topic categories (eek)
What do we know about citizens?
Some people browse and some people
Many people can’t spell or can’t type or
Ask a Librarian shows users don’t know
the difference between:
federal / state / local government
Most Ask a Librarian queries are for help
on business and work
Problem: They Need Information
What is driving the citizen’s information
Task or transaction
Information or data
Simply a question
Where does the citizen want to wind up?
Why is the citizen going there?
Who is seeking this information?
How do we generalize this?
to help citizens find stuff
Purpose: Organizing information on
a web site
Designing structure, content,
labeling and categories of
Designing navigation and search
Goal: To organize information that is
findable, manageable and usable
Look at similar sites for ideas – or
not so similar
Remember what you are looking
Taxonomies that fit
It’s the core of findability
Tools: Needs assessment studies,
card sorts, surveys, response
solicitation and usability studies
Rate this page responses
Analytics like WebTrends data
Intuition about other people (Blink)
Getting ready to design for
Business case specific to the web
site, including its context
Inventory your site’s content and
Define the tasks that bring users to
your site to connect users and
Now we know what, where, why
and who - but not how - yet
Designing for Findability
To design navigation, get lots of
people into a room with post-it
notes, or do a card sort
Is navigation design based on:
Other group like services or forms?
(Remember your users)
Pare it down
Simplify, simplify, simplify
Too many choices are confusing
3-click rule – debunked!
Design Principles for Findability
Be consistent: in concepts, labels,
order, and placement on page
Keep terms and links short, with
Choose browseable topics that match
More Design Principles
Provide multiple approaches to same
We don’t want to go here:
“I know exactly who my audience
“I know what my audience needs.”
“They’re finding everything they
“We don’t have time for a needs
Designs that don’t work
Everyone’s favorite – the bad stuff
How can we fix these?
Edit Account Information
Jobs Applied for Online
Links to Other Sites
Left nav continued
Search by Job ID
Search for Jobs
Who Recruited Me?
Article Health and Fitness
Left-hand listing of 71 topics
Pretty good A-Z Index of topics
Not so easy to navigate
Click to Diseases leads to undifferentiated
listing of articles on variety of diseases –
Organize at all levels, not just home page
Hot trends for success
Identify and involve all stakeholders
Design structure, content, labeling,
navigation and categories of information
Best sites are clear, concise, and
Simplify, simplify, simplify
Accessibility Key for Screen Shots
• USA.gov http://www.usa.gov
• Renewable Minnesota http://www.renewable.state.mn.us
• CareerOneStop http://www.careeronestop.org
• MinnesotaWorks http://www.minnesotaworks.net
• No navigation:
• Millions hate the new Facebook profile:
• Meredith’s Facebook profile
• Where do I start? http://egov.ocgov.com/portal/site/ocgov/
• Bad site from site of bad sites:
• Bad site of the day: http://www.jeffersonmillwork.com/
• Web site of bad sites: http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/
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