Findability
Eileen Quam | Meredith Anderson
What are people looking for?
 Jobs
 Help with mortgage foreclosure
 Education information
 How do I …
What are people doing?
 Email
 Shopping
 News
 Weather
 Health information
 …
 Employment search
In www.state.mn.us?
Main topics hit in the last month:
 Education
 Health
 Population
What are they finding?
 Sections of state websites on those
 topics
 Some linking to sites outside of
 www.state.mn.us
 So...
What do we know about citizens?
  Some people browse and some people
  search
  Many people can’t spell or can’t type or
 ...
Problem: They Need Information
 What is driving the citizen’s information
 need now?
   Task or transaction
   Information...
Information architecture
to help citizens find stuff
  Purpose: Organizing information on
  a web site
  Designing structu...
Inspiration
  Look at similar sites for ideas – or
  not so similar
  Remember what you are looking
  for:
    Appropriate...
Citizen-Centered Design
 It’s the core of findability
 Tools: Needs assessment studies,
 card sorts, surveys, response
 so...
Getting ready to design for
findability
  Business case specific to the web
  site, including its context
  Categorize/cha...
Designing for Findability
  To design navigation, get lots of
  people into a room with post-it
  notes, or do a card sort...
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...
Examples
 Audience orientation
  www.usa.gov
 Topic orientation
  www.renewable.state.mn.us
 Task orientation
  www.career...
More Design Principles
 Provide multiple approaches to same
 information
 Corporate underpants
Know-it-alls
 We don’t want to go here:
  “I know exactly who my audience
  is.”
  “I know what my audience needs.”
  “The...
Designs that don’t work
 Everyone’s favorite – the bad stuff
 How can we fix these?
MinnesotaWorks.net
Left-hand Navigation:
  Apprenticeships
  Best Picks
  Edit Account Information
  Internships
  Jobs Ap...
Left nav continued
 Resumes
 Saved Search
 Search by Job ID
 Search for Jobs
 Volunteer Opportunities
 Who Recruited Me?
Article Health and Fitness
www.articlehealthandfitness.com

 Left-hand listing of 71 topics
 Pretty good A-Z Index of topi...
Hot trends for success
 Citizen-centered design
 Identify and involve all stakeholders
 Design structure, content, labelin...
Accessibility Key for Screen Shots
 •   USA.gov http://www.usa.gov
 •   Renewable Minnesota http://www.renewable.state.mn....
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Findability

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Meredith and Eilieen presented this at the Minnesota Government IT Symposium, December 17, 2008

Published in: Technology, Design
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Transcript of "Findability"

  1. 1. Findability Eileen Quam | Meredith Anderson
  2. 2. What are people looking for? Jobs Help with mortgage foreclosure Education information How do I …
  3. 3. What are people doing? Email Shopping News Weather Health information … Employment search
  4. 4. In www.state.mn.us? Main topics hit in the last month: Education Health Population
  5. 5. What are they finding? Sections of state websites on those topics Some linking to sites outside of www.state.mn.us Some empty topic categories (eek)
  6. 6. What do we know about citizens? Some people browse and some people search Many people can’t spell or can’t type or both 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
  7. 7. Problem: They Need Information What is driving the citizen’s information need now? 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?
  8. 8. Information architecture to help citizens find stuff Purpose: Organizing information on a web site Designing structure, content, labeling and categories of information Designing navigation and search systems Goal: To organize information that is findable, manageable and usable
  9. 9. Inspiration Look at similar sites for ideas – or not so similar Remember what you are looking for: Appropriate themes Taxonomies that fit Good terminology Navigational ease Design ideas
  10. 10. Citizen-Centered Design 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) See www.usability.gov
  11. 11. Getting ready to design for findability Business case specific to the web site, including its context Categorize/characterize users Inventory your site’s content and tasks Define the tasks that bring users to your site to connect users and content Now we know what, where, why and who - but not how - yet
  12. 12. 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: Topics User-type Tasks Other group like services or forms? (Remember your users)
  13. 13. Pare it down Simplify, simplify, simplify Too many choices are confusing 3-click rule – debunked!
  14. 14. Design Principles for Findability Be consistent: in concepts, labels, order, and placement on page Keep terms and links short, with keyword first Choose browseable topics that match Subject-oriented User-oriented Task, etc.
  15. 15. Examples Audience orientation www.usa.gov Topic orientation www.renewable.state.mn.us Task orientation www.careeronestop.org
  16. 16. More Design Principles Provide multiple approaches to same information Corporate underpants
  17. 17. Know-it-alls We don’t want to go here: “I know exactly who my audience is.” “I know what my audience needs.” “They’re finding everything they need.” “We don’t have time for a needs assessment.”
  18. 18. Designs that don’t work Everyone’s favorite – the bad stuff How can we fix these?
  19. 19. MinnesotaWorks.net Left-hand Navigation: Apprenticeships Best Picks Edit Account Information Internships Jobs Applied for Online Links to Other Sites [more…]
  20. 20. Left nav continued Resumes Saved Search Search by Job ID Search for Jobs Volunteer Opportunities Who Recruited Me?
  21. 21. Article Health and Fitness www.articlehealthandfitness.com 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 – no organization Organize at all levels, not just home page
  22. 22. Hot trends for success Citizen-centered design Identify and involve all stakeholders Design structure, content, labeling, navigation and categories of information Best sites are clear, concise, and consistent Simplify, simplify, simplify
  23. 23. 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: http://www.tradeshop.com/master/custom.shtml • Millions hate the new Facebook profile: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/group.php? gid=27233634858 • Meredith’s Facebook profile • Where do I start? http://egov.ocgov.com/portal/site/ocgov/ • Bad site from site of bad sites: http://www.planetofthegeeks.com/trek/beertrek/rules.php • Bad site of the day: http://www.jeffersonmillwork.com/ • Web site of bad sites: http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/
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