Careers Scotland embarked upon a total re-engineering of their public facing website where they knew of many user experience issues and were keen to ensure these were removed in the new design.
Iterative user testing, starting with offline stimulus and natural search using Google, were the basis of the work we undertook, testing with the public as well as careers advisors. This was complimented with expert evaluations to spot check design iterations prior to testing, and the project commenced with stakeholder interviews and user needs analysis of both careers advisers and the public who would use the site.
We also undertook online surveys to compare usage and attitudes to the old and new site and assist with the benchmarking Careers Scotland wanted to undertake.
The results show a significant difference and a clear improvement in the levels of satisfaction among users. In particular:
- Task success/site effectiveness increased dramatically as the navigation was greatly improved and more intuitive
- Levels of satisfaction increased alongside this
- Greater usage of more site utilities was also noted clearly as users were able to find these tools more easily and were interested to use them
- Cross –site browsing and length of time on the site also increased positively
- Emotional response and branding perceptions were also improved with the new design and online experience – this was further reflected in the discussions Careers Advisers had with their clients who often spontaneously mentioned their positive experience of the site.
In addition over 83% of respondents indicated that they will act on something they have learned from the site. This is a marked improvement from the previous study with an increase of 32.1 percentage points, which confirms that the new site is providing much more practical advice to the Careers Scotland site visitors.
Katherine Ross from the Careers Scotland web team indicated that while the results were indeed encouraging, there is still a lot of work to do:
"Our website is continuously developing. Our aim is to be as customer focussed as possible. We are delighted that this recent survey shows that we have listened to our customers and made improvements that will benefit them."
An important measure of success is how the respondents rated the website. Results on the original website were relatively poor; however the redesign has seen a marked improvement with more respondents rating the website as very good or excellent. Another measure of success is the accessibility of information. The post-launch study User Vision undertook showed the respondents were finding it far easier to access information from the website with the majority of respondents found all or most of the information they required.
In addition to this visitors commented that they were more likely to visit the site again and recommend it to a friend. This is an important statistic as word of mouth is one of the most effective methods of promotion.