Prior to writing the RFP to select a vendor to work on a new website we held an all-college listening session. Staff and faculty were walked through the reasoning behind the project and asked to share their insights on areas they felt users were getting “stuck” on the existing site by writing it on a sticky note. After the listening session we organized the sticky notes into themes and audiences and used them to gather insights into the areas our internal staff felt needed the most work. The following were top areas of concern:
- On-site search was a major concern. Respondents felt the search results were often inaccurate or did not include content they expected to be there.
- Information architecture: Respondents felt that it was difficult to find important content on the main navigation.
- Content was mixed between audiences. Current student information was displayed alongside prospective student info and organized by the internal department, making the content more confusing.
- Readability scores were extremely high, especially on vital program pages. Since those pages are geared toward an audience that does not yet have a college education, effort should be made to re-write them, so they are easily understood and scannable by the user.