SUSS WEBSITE: 

SIMPLIFYING AND FACILITATING INFORMATION SEARCH ON THE SITE

Project Roles: Project manager • UX research lead • UX/UI design
Prototyping Tools: Axure
 

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Project
Context

My partner and I were tasked to rework the Singapore University of Social Sciences website. The main objectives were to redesign the information architecture and streamline our core persona's information search process.

Quick Overview
of the Process

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About SUSS:
Their Mission & Branding goals
 

SUSS is a newly autonomous university, which aims to provide a lifelong education with a strong social focus, with branding to showcase a vibrant and friendly personality

Going up against established autonomous universities such as NUS, NTU and SMU, SUSS has a need to present itself as an inspirational school to attract potential students.

Design
Objective 

Core User
Persona

For the purposes of the redesigned site, the objective was to rebuild the information architecture and final prototype for one user persona.

Of three personas for our selection, John the working professional was the most relevant persona -
he is the best fit with SUSS' core target student segment of working adults looking to further their education.

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Issues with the
SUSS Website

Through a content audit, competitive analysis and heuristic evaluation, these seven issues with the SUSS website were identified and prioritized:

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The site also did not fair well against competitor universities (NUS, NTU and SMU).

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In addition, the website today does not currently convey a strong or inspirational branding in comparison to the other universities to help differentiate itself.

  • It takes a more functional stance with its positioning and communications, without clear sense of differentiation from other schools
  • The site is cluttered and difficult to easily comprehend at a glance
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Considering Our Persona During
the Redesign

John's priorities and movement through the site were the first priority, and we streamlined his user flow so that it was quicker and easier for him to access information.

  • User goals: What are John’s key objectives on this site, and what does he want to achieve?
  • Point of entry: What is John’s context when coming onto the site? Could we have more than one point of entry to make navigation easier?
  • Navigation: How would he like to move through the site? How can we make this an efficient process for him, with as few clicks as possible?
  • Consolidation: Are there any areas that look like they might overlap or appear repetitive? Can we consolidate those?
  • Language: What should be the language & terminology used that is immediately and explicitly clear to John?
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Other Considerations During the Redesign

With limited time, we stayed focused on addressing the key issues that emerged from the research process

  1. Information architecture: Ensuring the user flow and site navigation aligned, with easy access to information
  2. Efficient routes to information: To reduce rerouting and opening of multiple tabs
  3. Site content & layout: Much of it was customized to fit SUSS’ vision & mission of social focus and approachability, with an additional layer of inspirational branding. Content was also designed to be succinct and easier to digest, with usage of visuals & videos to encourage interest.
  4. Language & terminology: Ensuring that it made sense and was easily comprehensible to users
  5. Aesthetics: A cleaner design with more efficient utilization of space
  6. Mid-fidelity vs. high-fidelity prototype: Utilized grey scale to keep users focused on the flow during usability testing

Streamlining the Information Architecture

The information architecture was also revised to be less complex, with fewer layers required to access information, and labelling that was easier to understand.

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We also factored in and sought to resolve the heuristic issues identified from earlier.

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Key Iterations

Users testing the redesigned prototype did not appear to have issues with locating required information. Key feedback revolved around details related to Visibility of system status & UI.

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Usability Testing for the Current vs. Redesigned SUSS Site
 

Usability resting on the redesigned app was done for the same tasks tested previously, with a higher usability score and quicker completion timings achieved by users. We achieved similar results with scenarios based on the new features of the app.

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Challenges Faced and Key Takeaways
 
 

Redesigning the SUSS website's information architecture and crafting the prototype seemed like a massive task at first. 
 


Despite time and labour constraints, we learned to be agile as a team, trust the process, and keep the momentum going. 


We would timebox tasks and recognize if we had enough information to work with, and then move onto the next stage of the process. 
Keeping to the project's core objectives and prioritizing the tasks on hand ensured that we ended up with deliverables that were on point. 
 


Nothing is impossible when you break it down into digestible chunks

I'M HERE TO HELP YOU SOLVE & IDENTIFY CHALLENGING PROBLEMS. LET'S WORK TOGETHER!

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