University of Miami
interactive media website
After conducting a non-directive card sorting study and better understanding of the UI, navigation and user flow, our team was able to identify a few problems and missed opportunities that allow room for improvement.
limited navigation components
unaligned UI elements
need hi-res images
featuring student projects
streamline search options
Things to consider
How might we provide an experience that is engaging and valuable to our visitors?
How might we provide a tailored experience that allows visitors to see what’s most important to them?
What is card sorting?
Card sorting is a method used to help evaluate and design information architecture. It involves active participation between the researcher and users. During a card sorting session, users are asked to put cards into groups and rename those groups to what they think is best suited for the categories they’ve created.
For our study, we conducted a non-directive and cautious type of card sorting method. This is an open card sort with no pre-defined categories that allows participants to name the categories and take up as much time as they need to complete the card sorting session.
We asked 24 participants to do fill out a pre-study questionnaire consisting of demographic and technology experience information. Then they sorted 43 cards into groups and renamed those groups. Lastly, they filled out a post study questionnaire.
1.Overview of the program
2. How to apply
3. Detail about application process
4. Requirements for applying to the program
5. Program application deadlines
6. Application requirements for International Students
7. Information for International students applying to the program
8. Program tuition and fees
9. Online application for the program
10. Portfolio guidelines for applying to the program
11. How to send application supporting documents
12. Description of program concentrations
13. Featured student projects
14. Email Newsletter sign-up to stay informed of the program’s latest accomplishments and events
15. Access to program events calendar
16. How to follow the program on social media
17. Required courses
18. Elective courses
19. Information about the building where classes are taught 20. Description of a research facility that provides educational opportunities for students and offers a full range of research services to clients
21. About a student-faculty cooperative that functions as an incubator for initiatives that collaborate locally, nationally, and in the global space
22. Studio for research and testing grounds for virtual reality experiences
23. Description of meeting space and student-run multimedia agency
24. Faculty profiles
25. Faculty and Student Awards
26. Where students get Internships and Jobs
27. Opportunities for Alumni
28. Career services and internships for students
29. Center focused on helping students and alumni develop career-related skills
30. How to hire our students
31. Companies and organization who partner with the program’s students on projects
32. Program donors list
33. Information for employers who want to post opportunities for alumni of the program
34. Posting jobs for students of the program
35. Information for companies and organization interested in developing partnerships with the program
36. Information for those who are interested in donating to the program
37. List of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the program
38. List of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Miami
39. Program contact information
40. Link to the student information system used to search for classes, view course schedule, and register for classes
41. Contact Information for program admissions
42. Language proficiency requirement for International students
43. Information about financial aid
With the participants data that we've gathered, we observed 10 categories: apply, admission, alumni, program information, contact us, international students, careers, donation, research, facilities.
Between the prominent categories, there are overlaps in content. Apply and admission have many of the same card items. Likewise, the research and facilities categories also share some of the same card items.
By observing the categories and their grouped content, we can understand how people organize information. In order to optimize the current site, we should first identify the different target audience who visit the site. They are prospective students, current students, faculty and staff, alumni and donors.
According to our interviews, the participants ranked the hierarchy of categories in this order: program information, application, careers, research, alumni, donors, contact us.
What happens when a visitor enters your site is that they browse through the page from left to right, top to down. Therefore, when structuring the navigation, it is beneficial to have the information in the order of the prioritized categories to help visitor find what they're looking more efficiently.