Detangling Information for a Better User Experience: Research and Analysis for the University of Washington's Department of Global Health Website
The UW Department of Global Health website provides information to a diverse audience that includes students, researchers and global health professionals. However, the site is not easy to navigate, and the department desires to improve usability as well as increase visibility of their academic programs. Our research examined three areas: the goals of the department staff, website statistics, and student-user needs. Website analytics and a content inventory of the current site were evaluated. Usability testing was performed with students through surveys, user observation, and in-depth interviews allowing us to understand their search behavior and information needs. The quantitative and qualitative data collected was used to create a prototype taxonomy for website navigation and a suggested redesign of the homepage. Recommendations to improve the website, and address the needs of prospective and current students, were presented to the Department of Global Health for incorporation into their website redesign project this summer.