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NUS Singapore

 

 

THIS PROJECT TALKS ABOUT REBUILDING AND REDESIGNING OF THE INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE OF NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE, BUSINESS SCHOOL THROUGH RESEARCH AND SEVERAL USER TESTING. 

 

 

 

BRIEF

In a group of 2-3, redesign the Information Architecture (IA) and key pages layout/wireframes of a school website. 3 user personas are provided, and students are free to adjust and update according to local context.

 

DISCLAIMER

The client’s brief was created by the teaching assistants in General Assembly to imitate a real-life experience. The content and creator of this article is not affiliated with the organisation mentioned. 

ROLE

UX Researcher

 

PROCESSES

Content audit, User interviews, Competitive analysis, Card sorting, Tree testing, Usability testing.

 

 

YEAR

2018

 

 

TOOLS

Axure RP, Post-its, Optimal Workshop, Excel Sheets.

About the Client

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For over 50 years, NUS Business School has offered a rigorous, relevant and rewarding business education to outstanding men and women from across the world. The School remains distinctive among the world's leading business Schools by offering the best of global knowledge with deep Asian insights, preparing students to lead Asian businesses to the forefront of the world economy and to help global businesses succeed in Asia.

 

As part of the National University of Singapore, a top globally ranked university, NUS Business School shares the University’s global reputation for academic excellence in education, research and service.

Read about NUS Business School here.

 

The Challenge

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MULTIPLE NAVIGATION AND LAYOUT 

  • At least 5 different types of navigation on NUS Business School
     
  • Some content of navigation is repeated on different sites and have very different navigation behaviours

MULTIPLE MICRO-SITES

  • Micro-sites are expanded from the main NUS website over time
     
  • Each site is build for different audience, school and purpose
     
  • Micro-sites are no accessible from a main page
     
  • Questionable efficiency and user experience in having too many micro-sites
 Click  here  to view high-res IA.

Click here to view high-res IA.

CURRENT INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE

  • Massive spiderweb
  • 7 levels deep with repeated levels across the IA
  • Low usability due to taxonomy and buried information

     

Design Goals

UNIFY

To unify the website with a well-designed information architecture instead of having numerous micro-sites.

STREAMLINE USER INTERFACE

Redesigning layout and visual hierarchy and introducing consistent modular. Information should be easy to digest and locate.

IMPROVING USABILITY AND EFFICIENCY

A website that is easy to use for both first-time user and repeated user. We want to redesign the website without jeopardising the business interest of NUS Business School.

 

Competitive Analysis

We conducted a heuristic evaluation on 6 schools (design, arts and business) and analysed the good and the bad. We looked at their layout, drop down menus, content distribution and interface design in both their home page and detail pages.

 Click  here  to view the complete heuristic evaluation.

Click here to view the complete heuristic evaluation.

As NUS Business School is a very traditional and formal institution with rich heritage, huge student body and several partnerships  — the website should not go through a drastic change in its user interface design. We decided to design the website as closely to the original site as possible and improve the UI by decluttering, reshuffling information and improving its content and visual hierarchy.

 

Redesigning Information Architecture

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User Testing

CARD SORTING

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WHAT WE DID

  • Tested with 12 users
     
  • NUS current students, NUS ex students and working-class adults who are considering to further their studies
     
  • Hybrid test with 5 given categories
     
  • Users sort the cards on Optimal Workshop while we observe them and ask questions

WHAT WE ANALYSED

  • We counterchecked our draft IA with the Dendrograms to prove that our grouping was correct. It eliminated a handful of labels and saved us a huge amount of time.
     
  • The Similarity Matrix is then used to pair labels that were grouped together by users and added in to our list of correct groupings.
     
  • The labels that are not confirmed at this stage have to be crossed reference between draft IA, Dendrogram and Similarity Matrix.
     
  • Labels that are not define based card sorting analysis have to be tested using the Treejack testing.
     

Treejack Test

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WHAT WE DID

  • Tested with 32 users remotely
     
  • No specific requirement for users to participate in testing, as long as they are able to read english and had used a website before
     
  • 8 questions  asked in total

THE RESULTS

  • Successful rate range from 50% to 80%. We were able to determine most of the labels where they should belong.
 

Revised Information Architecture

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The proposed IA is still a massive map. The main changes we did was reshuffling and regrouping content so that users can have the information they need at one go by removing or pushing labels a level up or down. Categories now have a higher clarity and better grouping. 

 

Redesigned Website

  Click  here  to view our interactive prototype. A huge part of this is completed by my partner Janus Tan, while I contribute by giving feedbacks and areas of improvements. Thanks for pulling all-nighters on this!

 Click here to view our interactive prototype. A huge part of this is completed by my partner Janus Tan, while I contribute by giving feedbacks and areas of improvements. Thanks for pulling all-nighters on this!

 

Design Improvements

 

Usability Testing

We conducted a task-based usability testing on 5 users aged between 20 to 29

 

USABILITY TEST RESULTS

  • Average time taken:  9.7 mins
  • Successful rate: 72.5%
  • User feedbacks on original website VS redesigned website: Redesigned website is “better”, “clearer”, “easier to navigate”, “homepage is less clutter” than original NUS website.
 

Iterations