Shared Services Center website research redesign
What's this about?
The Shared Services Center (SSC), is a one stop shop that is involved in the finances and business aspects for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. The Shared Services Center website suffered from decreased audience because of usability issues like difficulties in content discovery, search relavance, and structure related issues.
User researcher and web developer working in a team comprising of Business and Finance Specialists. I was responsible for carrying out the user research and implementing the findings from the data through front-end web technologies to make the website more usable.
Through user research and web design afterward, we changed the website's existing structure to increase the number of people visiting the website.
Improve parameters like the amount of time spent by the user on the website, Increase the number of users, and reduction in bounce rates. In addition, another goal of ours is to provide good content even if the website was relatively smaller as compared to other websites of the university.
I have been to this website before, so I know what is happening. If I was new, I would just be staring at it.
Older Information Architecture
UX Research - How do we improve the website?
We were on a strict timeline to get the most from a users perspective, combine it with the numbers we had to come up with the redesign.
Combined with the data obtained from Google Analytics I conducted User Interviews to observe the users attitude with respect to the website, sent out recommendation question for NPS Score calculation, Performed Heuristic Evaluation on the website, changed the existing Information Architecture to what it is today.
I took the role of the evaluator and performed Heuristic evaluations on the Shared Services Center Website. To achieve this, I worked to identify issues with the website, per Nielsen’s Ten Heuristics. I found issues pertinent mainly to search, navigation, and content discovery.
#1: VISIBILITY OF SYSTEM STATUS
Outdated Images may throw the user off guard and may be one of the main issues that increases the bounce rates.
#2: MATCH BETWEEN SYSTEM AND THE REAL WORLD
The content within the website may be known to the people working in the Shared Services Center, however it may be difficult for a general audience to comprehend.
#8: AESTHETIC AND MINIMALIST DESIGN
Images do not link to the information presented in the website.some of the information on the website is repetitive and is a waste of time for the users. Cluttering of content does not help.
I like this graphic (Referring to the graphic on the homepage). Always catches my attention, graphics. But I really do not know what/why these images on the homepage even exist. - Participant
From the quickfire research conducted, coupled with NPS scores and quantitative data, I gathered the following insights.
Content Redundancy Content is repetitive in a lot of places, making the user shy away from the website.
Context Content is littered with jargons and can be simplified.
Links: Images do not have links and some of the text are colored like links but do not function as links.
Carousel: Carousel is pretty but is unwanted by the users. Feels like it is "just there".
HomePage: Home page appears bland to make users stay on the page.
Content: Content can be made concise to accomodate all the information.
Color: An overwhelming opinion is about changing the color to the either the university colors or an alterative color scheme.
Abbreviations: All abbreviations to be expanded on the website for clarity.
Number of users: Comparitively low for the month (< 100)
New Information Architecture
Through observations and incorporating quantitative data, the team managed to improve the NPS from 30 - 50.
Increase the number of users over a period of 6 months to an all time high of 181 users for a single month.
The page views have been consistent and the bounce rates came to stand at an all time low of 27%.
Due to the changes implemeted post user research, the numbers show that the average number of page views was higher than what was before the redesign, with an all time high of 1079 page views after the redesign.
As a team, we would be monitoring the data with respect to bounce rates, click rates over the course of the next three months. The team will perform various tests on the new website and compare the metrics with the older version to check how the website is doing. Post three months, the team would send out another survey with respect to the NPS scored that now stands at 50.