Businesslink - DTI

User Vision conducted several projects for the Small Business Service (SBS) Businesslink site, aimed at providing practical information for businesses and aspiring businesses. This began with Businesslink’s ‘site refresh’ programme of revamping their site based on user-centred design activities including information architecture analysis and usability testing with end users.   
 
The SBS commissioned User Vision as the strategic usability consultants for a large project to develop and help implement a user centred design programme for the site. The goal was to create a new design with content that was based around the needs of the user. The site structure was to allow an easy user journey to individual content and useful decision making tools. We worked closely with the site designer to translate the users’ requirements to them and test the site usability and effectiveness, especially for finding information.
 
User Vision carried out several user centred design activities including: 
  • meetings with key stakeholders
  • project scoping and definition
  • developing wireframes
  • accessibility consultancy
  • focus groups with site users, and 
  • detailed information architecture analysis through card sorting and categorisation. 
We also provided workshops and training with various team members and senior management, helping them to specify and develop a new role called “voice of the Customer” which was responsible for ensuring the site remained user-centred.  We worked closely with the designers at a more tactical level, helping them develop a navigation structure based on the findings from information architecture research.
 
User Vision produced several reports, workshops and presentations throughout the project. The Businesslink team use findings from our work to continue evolving their site to better meet the needs of their diverse set of users and also to share cross-Government best practice.  
 
We also participated in the development of the localized versions of the Businesslink site for over 40 regions, so that they could share a common look and feel as the central business link.  In performing further card sorting and IA analysis we ensured that the local sites had a consistent structure and terminology as the central site, which was a key goal for the organization.  
 
The focus of the project continued to evolve after the new design was created, and our role continued, especially through refining the information architecture through interactive methods with the end users.

The starting point for any web project should be a task analysis of the information and features that users need. The second step is to construct information architecture for this content.

Jakob Nielsen.