Redesigns have become a labor of love for me. Using data to accurately predict how users will react to a site cuts out the guesswork of redesigning a website, making the user experience (UX) cleaner and user interface (UI) flow.
The UX Redesign Process
EDCNavigator.org, or the Executive Diversity Career Navigator, is a subsite of ACHE (American College of Healthcare Executives). It had been worked on by a few developers, but it didn't feel like a true diversity site to me. For one thing, where were all the people?!
Too, the purpose of the site felt lost, and space wasn't used efficiently to display many offerings, which are now updated regularly.
Ultimately, I wanted to use analytics from the site and heatmapping to better understand what users were doing with the site. This wasn't a priority for the association so it didn't happen—but I imagine the original site wouldn't garner as many hits as we'd like to get a true reading of how users were moving through the site, especially in the short timeline I had to redesign the site.
Iterations of the homepage were varied, but I felt after several sketches I hit upon the route I wanted to take:
Regardless, I better organized the homepage, creating a useful, clickable slider that explains the site and gives easy access to key areas (I am very much against sliders as they never convert, but clients always love them!). Below this, a mini navigation bar has mini explainers on some areas that were not as obvious to the user as they are to the client—simplifying and highlighting. Beneath this is a welcome and a clear "Start here" with a variety of buttons to ease users into the site, and where they each might fit.
Below this are a variety of testimonials and links to mentor blurbs. These are further explored under "Contributors." Then a slider of the supporting organizations that made the site possible, and footer.
Subpages matter too!
Subpages often get the short shrift here, and a priority was the Contributors page. Though originally just a page of headshots linking to articles, this needed to be more interactive and give users a reason to jump into and read the various profiles and articles. Through a couple stock and bespoke plugins, I created a simple way to navigate the page; for the people inputting the data, it's also quite simple and dynamically populates the page, making it seamless.
Other pages got makeovers as well, making them more readable and giving a template for future static pages with plenty of content. What's more, pages were done in WP Bakery, making it easy for staff to update and maintain.
Staff also got a style guide to refer to: