UX and Information Architecture

 

At North Studio, we believe that it’s important to ask the right questions before building, and recommend making User Experience Design an integral part of any project.

 

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At North Studio, we believe that it’s important to ask the right questions before building. Before any re-build or re-design, we carefully consider a user-centered model of site tasks and content, endeavoring to provide insight and direction for mission-critical site tasks based on user personas, needs and behaviors. Our deliverables serve as a ‘blueprint’ for user-friendly navigation, content categorization, layout and task workflow.

Benefits of UX/IA

  • Define the optimal user experience
  • Uncover barriers to optimal usability
  • Identify content, features, and functionality
  • Map User Journeys to features and task flow
  • Design topic hierarchies based on user’s needs
  • Create intuitive navigation and search systems
  • Create direction for mission-critical site tasks
  • ‘Blueprint’ for user-friendly navigation, content categorization, layout and task workflow
  • Hierarchical task analysis
  • Kano model analysis to classify product attributes
  • Development of user personas
  • Specify content models for web and mobile interfaces

Technical Architecture / User Experience Design

At North Studio, we believe that it’s important to ask the right questions before building, and recommend making User Experience Design an integral part of any project. Before any re-build or re-design, we carefully consider a user-centered model of site tasks and content, endeavoring to provide insight and direction for mission-critical site tasks based on user personas, needs and behaviors. Our deliverables serve as a ‘blueprint’ for user-friendly navigation, content categorization, layout and task workflow.

The business goal of User Experience Design is to identify the profitable actions on a website and make it easier for visitors to accomplish them. Usability studies utilize a mixture of self-reported and behavioral data, and use a combination of natural use of the product and a scripted use of the product. NorthStudio recommends conducting research prior to a site redesign, upgrade or part of a healthy ongoing digital strategy.

The purpose of this research is to uncover barriers to optimal usability, and identify content, features, and functionality that will better help meet the needs of site visitors and further your business goals.

Supposing is good,” advised Mark Twain, “but finding out is better.”

The resulting report will connect business objectives with feature sets, UIs, and measurable outcomes. Identifying the profitable actions, the trigger activities, and also the supporting information that users will need to have a satisfying interaction with your website.


User Experience Research Areas

It’s important to ask the right questions before pursuing solutions – research and analysis are the starting point. Identifying the data that can be the driver for a continual improvement process can bring even greater levels of return on investment.

The following attributes are a commonly measured as part of our user experience research:

  1. Clear presentation of a value proposition for primary audience segments
  2. Evidence of  an organization’s and website’s credibility
  3. Differentiation from similar organization or competitors
  4. User comprehension of the website offerings and user journey
  5. Identification of barriers to conversion and usability issues
  6. Hypothesis for conversion rate improvement for mission critical site tasks including:
    1. Finding information/products/services/people quickly and easily
    2. Accessing and understanding information required to make a decision
    3. Intuitive conversion funnel/checkout/signup process
    4. Tools for users to get help and resolve issues quickly
  7. Converting first time visitors to repeat/power users
  8. Supporting the workflow of new and power users, considering:
    1. Discovery
    2. Realization of Need
    3. Consideration
    4. Conversion
    5. Retention
  9. Responding to mobile as well as desktop users
Organizations that do not have an experienced, dedicated UX or Drupal development team have hired North Studio to facilitate a process for a robust UX phase including benchmarking, user journeys, ux reviews, user research, developing of user personas, defining mission critical workflows, specifying content models for both web and mobile interfaces, determining site navigation, and creating wireframes for user interfaces. This process allows us to take technology agnostic specifications, feature descriptions, data schema and create technical architecture documentation ready for build out.

Our UX and technical architecture has been part of projects for Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley Science Network, Autodesk Design Academy, The Mises Institute, and many more.

The business goal of User Experience Design is to identify the profitable actions on a website and make it easier for visitors to accomplish them.

The goal of this discovery is to connect business objectives with feature sets, UIs, and measurable outcomes. Identifying the profitable actions, the trigger activities, and also the supporting information that users need.  When we find the data that can be the driver for a continual improvement process, it can bring greater and greater levels of return on investment.


  • Define the primary audience segments the Lethbridge College site needs to serve.
  • Assess how to clearly present a value proposition for Lethbridge College ’s services.
  • Identify the optimal information structure and navigation styles for each of the audience segments.
  • Optimize the presentation of Lethbridge College content for each audience segment.
  • Create an updated sitemap.
  • Planning out display logic of page elements and wireframing the Drupal page templates required as outlined in the sitemap.

Responding to mobile, tablet and desktop users with a responsive plan

  • Usability – How easy to understand and navigate does the website need to be?
  • Appeal – How professional does the website need to appear? How much does the audience need to enjoy using it?
  • Accessibility – What audiences need to access the website? On which devices?
  • Performance – How well does the website need to perform? How fast does it need to load and respond to input?
  • User Assistance & Help – How easy does it need to be for the user to get assistance when they get stuck?
The objective for ux strategy is to review the website goals and purpose at a deeper level to get clarification on how key requirements meet the needs of users. Stakeholder interviews, user research and data analysis will focus on problem identification and information grouping by user need/task. During the requirements and recommendations capturing process we will augment existing documentation as well as create unifying spreadsheets, visual charts and user story templates. It is important that product owners and key stakeholders be available for all meetings.

The goal is to create a plan forward that describes the ideal way users would expect to interact with the web site, with a hierarchical task analysis assembling the subtasks that let users achieve a particular goal and any conditions the subtasks must fulfill. All application interfaces and navigation models that a user encounters must support these tasks in a consistent manner.

Strategy Sessions and User Experience Review

Analysis and discussion will help provide information and guidance for:

  1. Problem identification for further research and testing
  2. Defining the circumstances and larger story within user context
  3. Diagnosis and working hypotheses
  4. Recommendations for solutions in Drupal

Content Audit Facilitation and New Sitemap

The purpose of a Content Audit is to get a snapshot of your site’s content. This includes text, images, audio, video, PDFs and spreadsheets. We will work with current content creators and maintainers to carry out a content audit to identify the site’s main content types and supporting taxonomies. A content audit is about getting a feel of the site content. (conversely a full Content Inventory is a complete list of every single piece of content) The goal is to gather examples of every type of content available on the site. It is not necessary to examine every content item, but at least one of every type.

The benefits to this are to:

  • Assess the state of your site
  • Identify specific areas that need improvements to their structure and flow
  • Identify content types and content relationships
  • Prepare for a content migration plan (if required)

Mental Model and Hierarchical Task Review

A mental model is used to help understand how your current offerings do or do not support the people using your site and provides a pathway to devise a strategy around the gaps. A mental model describes the behaviours of a particular audience and the various ways the system can support these behaviours. Where support and behaviour is aligned, you have a solution. Where behaviour is not supported, you have potential for content and feature development. This exercise will help outline what a user of your site wants to get done, and is the first step to mapping these tasks to the features of a website.

Hierarchical task analysis requires a detailed understanding of users’ tasks. We will achieve this understanding by:

  • Walking through the user interface with the user’s primary goals in mind
  • Detailing the steps users must perform to accomplish their goals
  • Identifying any gaps
  • Optimizing these procedures

Audience Personas and User Journey Mapping

Audience personas are detailed representations of the different types of people that your target website users is comprised of. Audience personas can help inform everything from more effective copy to feature development.

Created in the form of either a chart or table with a user story format to describe functionality in a consistent, testable way.

  1. Audience group
  2. Demographics
  3. Tone and style
  4. Problems to solve
  5. Concerns and anxieties
  6. Mission critical tasks
  7. Call to action phrase
  8. Topics and content

Technical Architecture

The steps of the information architecture phase include gathering detailed functional requirements, developing key user personas, identifying and defining complex functionality and user interaction, specifying content models for both web and mobile interfaces, determining upper-level site navigation, and creating detailed processes and task flows.

  1. Draft a data entity model for site content and information architecture
  2. Identify content types and content relationships
  3. Identify content topics, terms and vocabularies
  4. Identify fields and views for content types
  5. Identify pages to be wireframed and elements for wireframed pages
  6. Confirm site’s navigational structure
  7. Identify publishing workflow and content access matrix
  8. Identify specific areas that need custom structure and/or workflow
  9. Document integrations with third party systems
  10. Document assumptions and constraints
WORKING WITH NORTH STUDIOFrom beginning to end we take you step-by-step with North Studio's 20 years experience guiding the process to deliver the most competitve, trasformative experiences for your business, University/College, Fortune 100/500 or Non Profit. We have you covered.

WORKING WITH NORTH STUDIO

From beginning to end we take you step-by-step with North Studio's 20 years experience guiding the process to deliver the most competitve, trasformative experiences for your business, University/College, Fortune 100/500 or Non Profit. We have you covered.

Competitive Rates & Project Quotes

Highly adept teams to scope, estimate, and architect your solution. Competitive rates and project quotes.

Reliable, Rapid & Renowned Delivery

Using agile methodology, always keeping you in the loop. Streamlined delivery, cost effective projects, designed to match your goals, timeline and budget.

Expert Web Designers & Developers

We have been designing and developing websites and web applications since 1998. Our experts are trained, certified and experienced across a variety of website platforms.

Transparent, Collaborative, Communicative

Complete project visibility, working with you to shape the right delivery method and custom solution. Email, phone, slack, Google Hangout communication.

Customer Satisfaction, Our Top Priority

Dedicated account manager, project manager and consistent delivery team provided. We get to know our clients and treat you like family

 The North Studio Advantage -  Open Source Technology Development

  • Full Stack Development Teams
  • Agile, Kanban, waterfall development methodology
  • Competitive rates for web design and development talent
  • Cross-functional team of 85+ experts based in US, Canada & the UK
  • In-house, front-end experts, Business Analysts, UX/UI Specialists & Designers, Security Engineers, and Support and Maintenance Staff
  • Readily available Project Managers you can call
  • Mature support Staff, Systems and Technologies to handle any size project
  • Over 20 years in business working with over 1000 clients 
  • Friendly, open, communicative and collaborative way of working with clients
  • Proven track record of successful web design and development project delivery
  • Rigorous quality assurance (QA) testing before “Go-Live”
  • Shorter development times translating to lower costs
  • Unparalleled open technology expertise and experience
  • In-House tech training department to assist your staff, business or internal team

The North Studio Advantage Open Source Technology Development

 

  • Full Stack Development Teams
  • Agile web design and development methodology
  • Competitive rates for web design and development talent
  • Cross-functional team of 85+ experts based in US, Canada & the UK
  • In-house, front-end experts, Business Analysts, UX/UI Specialists & Designers,
    Security Engineers, and Support and Maintenance Staff
  • Project Managers you can call. They pick up their phones to assist you
  • Mature support Staff, Systems and Technologies to handle any size project
  • Over 20 years in business working with over 1000 clients 
  • Friendly, open, communicative and collaborative way of working with clients
  • Proven track record of successful web design and development project delivery
  • Rigorous quality assurance (QA) testing before “Go-Live”
  • Shorter development times translating to lower costs
  • Unparalleled open technology expertise and experience
  • In-House tech training department to assist your staff, business or internal team

Contact us today to find out how we can support your needs. Real people will talk to you

Get In Touch & Get Started Today. We're ready. Our team of Open Source experts can design, build and deploy an innovative and flexible solution, which is both fully scalable and highly secure, able to grow and meet your company's future business, technology and user needs. If you are looking for Open Source Software consultation, strategy, design, development, support or security, look no further. Contact us today and request a quote by filling out our form, emailing us directly or calling our toll Free Number.

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