CASE STUDY: UX Redesign of a large information website

Project Summary

This project involved the redesign of a large informational website for Horse Sport Ireland. This organisation is the national governing body of equestrian sport in Ireland and maintains the Irish Horse Register. As such this site contains huge amounts of information and must cater to the needs of different types of users in the equestrian sector e.g. leisure riders, competition riders, breeders, coaches etc. The previous website had grown organically over a number of years as the organisation expanded its scope and added more content. Users reported issues trying to find information on the website so the client proactively decided to redesign the website to improve the experience for users. My role on the redesign project was Project Management / UX. I have focused on the UX process for the purpose of this case study rather than the project management aspects.

Step 1 - Research Phase

The research phase of this project was critical as I had to determine the real issues for users before implementing any new design.

Below are the UX research methods I used:

  • Reviewed Google Analytics – comprehensive review of the existing site’s Google Analytics to determine the most popular content / areas of the website, user flows through the site and other critical information on user behaviour for the redesign process.
  • Reviewed internal website search logs – examined the website’s internal search logs to find what users were consistently searching for and the terminology used.
  • User interviews – interviewed a number of users of the site with varying levels of experience of the website and technology in general. This helped me identify common usability and IA issues and assisted with persona development for the UX design.
  • Spoke with customer services – spoke with CS staff and compiled a detailed list of website issues reported by customers and also information they asked for (namely could not find on the existing website).
  • Heuristic evaluation – performed an evaluation of the website using the established guidelines for user experience.
  • Content audit – fully assessed all site content, removed the outdated and irrelevant content from the website (e.g. documents that have been replaced with newer revisions) and identified missing content.

Step 2 – UX Design Phase

Once the research phase was complete I commenced the UX design process. As Information Architecture was the primary issue with the website this was the main focus initially.

  • User flows – produced user flows for the most critical interactions with the site. The Google Analytics identified several key paths that required improvement.
  • Card sorting – performed card sorting exercise with a variety of users to identify how they grouped together the various pages of content and their classifications of the groups. This provided the Information Architecture for the new website.
  • Sitemap – produced a Lucidchart sitemap for the new site based on the user flows and IA from the card sort process.
  • Wireframes & Mockups - produced wireframes for key page layouts and then later high-fidelity mockups of the new website design using Balsamiq for Mockups and Adobe Photoshop. These artefacts were used to collect feedback from users and stakeholders and to make changes to the design prior to development.
  • Development – once the user iterations were completed we released the design to the development team for coding and implementation. Further user feedback was gathered prior to launch to identify and resolve usability and UX issues.

Step 3 – Launch & Review

Post-launch a formal process of web analytics review was put in place to monitor the website performance on an ongoing basis and user sentiment is monitored through a host of channels both online and offline.

Contact Me

If you would like to discuss potential UX / Interaction Design projects please feel free to contact me. Call Fiona Mulreany on 087-6380841 or email fiona@mulreany.ie

My Role:

  • Project Management
  • UX Research
  • UX Design
  • Web Analytics

Tools Used:

  • Balsamiq Mockups
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • LucidChart
  • Basecamp