University of Miami

interactive media website

2020

Background

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.

Problems

  • limited navigation components 

  • unaligned UI elements

  • wordpress favicon

  • need hi-res images

Missed Opportunities

  • featuring student projects

  • careers

  • 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?

Current home page​

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. 

CARD ITEMS

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

Findings

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.

 

 

Category Labels

Prioritized categories

across participants

Proposed home page

© 2020 Katy Huang 

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