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Improving Website Organization6:21 with Dan Gorgone
Now that we know how websites can be organized, which way is best for you? In this video, we will discuss how to choose an organizational structure for your website or app.
- Tree Testing - show someone a text version of the structure of a website and ask them to follow the ‘branches’ to select the spot where they think they’d find an important piece of information
- Target: https://www.target.com/c/collectors-toys/-/N-54vro?lnk=CollectorsToys
- Bubble: https://bubble.is/
Tree Testing: Fast, Iterative Evaluation of Menu Labels and Categories, by Kathryn Whitenton
How to Avoid Bias in Card Sorting, by Kathryn Whitenton
[MUSIC] 0:00 With the amount of content available online today, 0:04 organizing information intuitively is more important than ever. 0:07 Specifically, I'm talking about how you define the major sections of your site and 0:12 naming those sections with labels that are obvious and clear. 0:16 If you don't do this, users may run into some problems. 0:21 They may experience frustration or leave the site if sections don't make sense. 0:25 It's like if you took the Starbucks app, and instead of organizing its menu by 0:29 drinks and food, you changed it to morning and afternoon. 0:34 Like, what's the difference there? 0:39 I drink coffee all day long. 0:41 So can I find it in both places? 0:42 If users have to think about what your labels or 0:45 groupings mean to them, you've done something wrong. 0:47 Not only should the labels tell you what content is in a section, 0:51 but also what you can do there. 0:55 Problems might also arise if you have too many choices, so 0:58 the experience of sifting through all the options becomes exhausting. 1:02 Take a look at how Target organizes its sections within this navigation menu, 1:06 that's pretty long. 1:12 And if you drill down into, say toys well, 1:13 it's still a challenge to find what you want. 1:16 So monitor your different channels to gather feedback or collect data 1:20 about your users, so you'll know if they're finding the information they need. 1:24 If not, then here are some helpful ways to improve your content organization. 1:29 One great way to pinpoint problems is to bring up your site map, or 1:35 create one if you haven't done that yet. 1:39 Get together with your team, and 1:42 apply any user complaints directly to the website structure. 1:43 Here's what I mean. 1:48 For example, you might hear that users can't find the installation instructions 1:49 on your website for the app you've built. 1:53 Now, you know that it's located in the same section where users download the app, 1:56 because there's a page in there called Installation Instructions. 2:00 However, people are looking through the main menu, and they see these links. 2:04 Home, About, Download, and Contact. 2:09 There's no clear spot for help or instructions, so you need to take action. 2:14 You could solve this problem by adding a help section, so 2:21 you'd have a new content group where you list all your helpful documentation. 2:24 Or you could reveal more of the structure by adding a menu hierarchy, so 2:29 more content can be seen while users browse through the menu. 2:34 But sometimes the issue isn't that your content is buried, 2:39 it's that users don't understand the value of what you've created. 2:43 This is a site called Bubble, which provides a platform if you wanna 2:48 create a web app without all that pesky coding. 2:52 One issue here is this Ideas link in their main menu. 2:55 Now if you come to a site where you can create apps without coding you might 2:59 assume Ideas would be a list of good ideas for apps you could create here. 3:02 But when you click, you see a sub menu offering three more choices, 3:08 Product, Stories, and Vision. 3:13 And now I'm more confused. 3:17 Turns out the Product section is a series of instructional posts 3:19 about cool things you can do with their product. 3:23 Stories offers a mix of stories about people who use their product and 3:26 other interviews. 3:31 And Vision is a collection of posts about the company in general. 3:33 The way you organize content and label it needs to support the interest and 3:38 goals of your users. 3:43 So what you create has to have some value, but that value needs to be clear. 3:45 So that means labeling groups of content in ways that have relevance to your users. 3:51 Vision might sound empowering to you, but to your users who are thinking 3:57 about creating an app on your site, they don't know if Vision means you're 4:02 about to show them apps for seeing things, or if you want to give them an eye test. 4:07 So if pages are not being used or people aren't finding things, look to your labels 4:12 to make sure you're not burying your valuable content behind misleading terms. 4:20 If Bubble wants users to understand the value of their produce posts, 4:26 they should call them something like How To's instead, Stories is too vague. 4:31 Case studies might be more on target if you're sharing client success stories or 4:37 yeah, success stories would work too. 4:42 And instead of Vision, calling the section our section Our Vision 4:45 would clue people in that these are posts about the company's mission. 4:50 If you ever struggle with naming a content group, try the card sorting 4:55 technique we went through earlier in the course, it's a great way to get ideas 4:59 about well you've communicated the value of your content within a group. 5:04 And there's another technique, called tree-testing, 5:09 in which you show someone a text version of the structure of your site, and 5:12 ask them to follow the branches so to speak, and 5:17 select the spot where they think they'd find an important piece of information. 5:19 For example, if Cracker Barrel restaurants asked someone to explain where they'd go 5:25 to find nutrition information for 5:30 their food, they'd look through this simple set of branches for the answer. 5:32 This kind of test will tell you if your labels or groupings are working. 5:37 So as you're evaluating your own website organization, 5:43 monitor your feedback in analytics and look for these problems. 5:47 But be proactive and consider these questions on your own. 5:51 Have you created sections that match up with user needs and expectations? 5:55 Do those sections have clear names, and 6:00 are they organized in a logical and intuitive way? 6:04 Your current structure defines how content is organized, but 6:08 it also helps sets the tone for users on the site, so 6:12 make sure it is easy to understand so they'll have a stress free experience. 6:15
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