Information Architecture, Concept, and Usability Research

Below you will find a project overview for a multi-round research project to understand what 7 different user groups might want or expect on a university website, understand how current content can be repurposed for more effective use, and understand information architecture changes for more efficient navigation.

Project Overview

Context / Problem:
The university was completely rebuilding their entire website from scratch and wanted to be able to get some UX research done during the early phases of design throughout a 6-month timeframe. As a faculty member at the university, I wrote a proposal to take on this research project along with hiring 3 undergraduate student research assistants (RA).  

Due to budget and time constraints, the 3 student research assistants and I utilized the following methods:       

- Heuristic Evaluation
- Card Sorting
- A/B Testing
- Remote Usability Testing (

‍Each month was focused on a different part of the website, workingin tandem with a 3rd party web design firm and university stakeholders to ensure that we were focusing on the right problems in our research in order to learn the right solutions. 

My Role:
As the Lead UX Researcher for the project, I managed the budget, coordinated (and mentored) the research assistants, created my own and evaluated RA research protocols, participated in and oversaw data analysis, wrote and developed key takeaways and recommendations, met with and presented findings to stakeholders, and aided with overall recruitment. 

- Bi-weekly 1–2-page reports for key stakeholders that focused on key takeaways.
- Monthly research readout presentations and fully written research reports for stakeholders and interested parties.
- Brief presentation of research updates tailored for a broad, larger academic audience every 2 months

The impact of this research project can be seen on the current university website that went live in June 2022, as this project influenced the overall design of the homepage, design of department and major-specific sub-pages, the information architecture and labeling nomenclature throughout the website, the menu layout and functionality, and the newly created “hub” site tailored to different university audiences.

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