After fully grasping the scope of the website’s current state, we performed an IA analysis on the website starting with a content auditor tool as well as an analysis based on Nielsen’s Usability Heuristics.
Using the data from the content audit report, we focused our analysis around 4 IA systems: organization, navigation, labeling, and search. Below are key features of each analyzed system (organization, navigation, labeling, and search) in the current information architecture.
• Top-down approach: information is organized to anticipate most common user needs
• Poly-hierarchical structure: cross-listing of topics on 4 sitemap levels with 100 pages throughout website
• Global navigation system: allows users to keep track of where they are with bread crumbs
• Many modes of secondary navigation: dilutes effectiveness of top-down organization
• Textual labels: found in links, headings, and navigation
• Reading ease score: 58.4 (text is relatively easy to understand)
• Redundancy in 15 total headers whereas competitors have 3 to 6 at most
• Search bar: supplemental navigation within THS website
• Very basic, no guidance on queries, minimal additional context
Primary Research of Users
We then recruited research participants who met the following criteria.
• People likely to donate to non-profit organizations
• Has an apparent affinity towards animals
Our first method of data collection was semi-structured interviews. We asked open-ended and follow-up questions to collect qualitative attitudinal data.
In the interviews, we discovered three common themes regarding participants’ engagement with non-profit organizations.
• Urgency: Donors tend to join fundraising movements based on time-sensitivity of initiative and perceived significance.
• Impact: Participants needed to know that their donations would be significantly impactful regardless of how large the organization was perceived as.
• Trust: Before donating, participants needed to establish trust by word of mouth or by a trustworthy online presence with available information.
Our second research method was by usability testing. We were able to collect both qualitative and quantitative data by narrowing in on the most common and prioritized tasks in the website’s UX.
We collected data by observing the users’ interactions of five remote research participants each guided by 6 predetermined tasks based on possible real user scenarios:
1. As a high school student looking to fulfill volunteer hours, find the email address for volunteering inquiries.
2. Make a donation to the THS in honor of the birthday of your best friend’s pet, Snoopy.
3. Find information on what to do when you find a stray cat.
4. Find a pet that you would like to adopt and show me the next steps of what you would do to complete the process.
5. After adopting a pet, find other services that the THS provides.
6. You are considering donating to THS, so find out where your money is going towards and any other relevant information.
These were our most significant findings from the usability tests:
• Inefficient navigation to donate
• Hard to find time-sensitive information
• Labels used too much jargon
• Hard to locate THS information to ensure legitimacy of organization
Based on our analysis and research, we had these redesign recommendations:
1. Declutter repetitive secondary navigation by removing redundant language in labels.
2. Integrate a page of information for donors to address their personal requirements for establishing urgency, impact, and trust.
3. Prioritize information-providing elements in the website hierarchy to emphasize the most important goals of the organization.