The Resources Division of the Victorian Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources wanted their redeveloped Earth Resources website to be the go-to government online resource for key industry, community and geoscience stakeholders, as well as the capacity for providing seamless digital services into the future.
Our first step was to conduct extensive user research with all user types. This research revealed a site that was difficult to use: important information was often hidden under multiple layers; content was often dense, duplicated and inaccurate; a lack of clear processes made it difficult to complete common tasks; and it was not WCAG 2.0 compliant for accessibility.
To address the deep and internal-facing information structure, hidden content and navigation issues, we developed:
- a navigation model that exposes high-use content and provided multiple pathways to priority tasks, online systems and related information and assets
- a user-centric, topic-based and shallow information architecture that groups content in a logical way so users can quickly and easily find what they are looking for
- responsive wireframes for key pages featuring direct paths to priority content, key user tasks, a variety of content formats and types, and contextual linking
- recommendations for a phased approach to developing a central repository of all assets and an enhanced keyword and refinable searchfor all content and assets
- high-level requirements for functional components to provide a base for the design and build phase of the site.
Tree testing and first click activities evaluated and validated the usability of the information architecture and wireframes.
To support this new user-centric model, we devised detailed recommendations and realistic actions for content, visual design and enhanced functionality, as well as a timeline and costs to support the development and ongoing maintenance of the site.