Rescued a long-neglected site by gathering together scattered information and giving content owners guidelines for consistency.
View the site SLAC Environment, Safety, & Health
Compare the Environment, Safety, & Health home page before and after the redesign.
To see the complete design, contact me for a demo of the prototype.
Background Stanford Linear Accelerator's Environment, Safety, and Health site suffered from years of neglect and a lack of any comprehensive information design to give its content coherence and consistency. Information was organized by owner rather than by topic — and scattered in little fiefdoms throughout the site. Users needed formidable persistence to find what they were looking for.
The Project Conducted user interviews. I first interviewed a group of typical users to find out what tasks they most often went to the site to do and what obstacles got in their way. Everybody did roughly the same handful of tasks, and everybody had the same complaints: the information they needed was scattered, the pages were cluttered and poorly organized, the structure of the site and the navigation scheme were illogical, the terminology was confusing.
  Identified top issues. Created personas and scenarios. I distilled my findings into a short list of the top issues that we needed to focus on. I also created a persona (PDF, 100k) — an archetypal user — so we had a clear picture of whom we were designing the site for. (The persona also helped remind everyone that the site had to work for the users, not just satisfy the stakeholders.) I distilled the typical tasks the users were trying to accomplish into the essential use-case scenarios (PDF, 125k).
  Conducted a card sorting exercise. I next did a card-sorting exercise with another group of typical users to gather data to resolve the site structure and terminology issues.
  Created wireframes. Built and user-tested a prototype. I then built a working prototype that embodied a user-centered organization and navigation scheme, terminology that made sense to users, and page designs that were clean and well-organized. I tested the prototype with another group of typical users to see if they could complete the scenarios we’d defined earlier. The time to complete the most important of the tasks dropped from 25 minutes on the existing site to an average of a couple of minutes in the prototype.
  Developed a wireframe guide. I fully documented the prototype and information design in a wireframe guide.
  (Excerpt: home page, PDF, 225k)
  The guide made it possible for the SLAC Web team both to build the site and to understand the principles behind the information design so they could maintain it in the future.